]]]]]]]]]]]] HOW TO DEAL WITH AIRCRAFT HIJACKERS [[[[[[[[[[[[[ By Willam Vandersteel (6/24/88) Alpine, N.J. [This letter was sent to the White House by AtE subscriber Wm. Vander- steel shortly after the two-week long hijacking of Kuwaiti airliner. It was also sent to the Wall Street Journal (which did not publish it).] Methods used to date -- judging from the results -- are unsatis- factory and to a large extent counterproductive. We must start from the premise that under no circumstance will we give in to the hijackers so as to discourage future hijackings. To date this has generally been observed, but most other actions taken thus far have played right into the hands of the hijackers. Take the recent case of the Kuwaiti airliner grounded in Cyprus. We provide the hijackers with a world forum by instantaneous transmis- sion of their every demand. This accomplishes their major purpose of letting the world know about their mission. We vacillate on their demand for refueling, providing them the opportunity of trading threats and murders in their attempts to get the fuel. Flight to an- other destination is probably their only hope of succeeding in, let alone surviving, their mission. Instead I recommend we take the following action designed to frustrate their desperate efforts. For the purpose of illustration I will use the recent case of the Kuwaiti Boeing 747 in Cyprus. As soon as the aircraft lands, all communication with the hi- jackers should cease. Any transmission from the aircraft should be jammed selectively so that the hijackers are led to believe that their transmissions are not getting through, while at the same time the news media are prevented from gaining any information, thereby making for a complete news blackout. With the use of a digital jamming technique it should be possible to decode any transmissions from the aircraft so the authorities in charge can monitor developments. As soon as the aircraft rolls to a stop, high-powered rifles at maximum distance should be used to blow out a sufficient number of tires to preclude the possibility of take-off. This should be standard operating procedure in all hijackings so that future hijackers will know that their destination will also be their last one. An interna- tional agreement to that effect should be given world-wide publicity. If this procedure is followed, it will lead to total frustration of the hijackers. All their demands will fall on deaf ears, and their threats and deadlines will be frustrated because they will have no way of knowing what is happening. Everything they do or contemplate will become an exercise in futility because of the communication blackout. Any dreams of martyrdom become moot because of their inability to announce their intentions to a world audience. I believe that following this procedure is most likely to lead to an abject surrender by the hijackers at least risk to the passengers. William Vandersteel Alpine, N.J.
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