By Jin-Tai Choi (auth.)
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Additional info for Aviation Terrorism, 1st Edition
Nature and Developments 19 would be substantially reduced. 14 It should be remembered that the harvest of justice can not be reaped from seeds that have not been sown in peace. The Asylum Seeker This category of aviation terrorist comprises those who claim political motivation for their acts and are willing to take enormous risks to escape a political or social system that they detest. Included in this group have been left-wing revolutionaries, such as the Black Panthers of the United States and Latin American militants, as well as radicals and right-wing politicians and opponents of communist and fascist systems.
16 As a result of the negotiations, an agreement (officially a 'memorandum of understanding') between the two countries on the prevention of aerial and maritime hijacking was signed on 15 February 1973. The agreement provided for the punishment of persons seizing airliners or vessels of either state with the intention of finding sanctuary in the other. 17 Article I of the agreement states that: Any person who hereafter seizes, removes, appropriates or diverts from its normal route or activities an aircraft or vessel registered under the laws of one of the parties and brings it to the territory of the other party shall be considered to have committed an offence and therefore shall either be returned to the party of registry of the aircraft or vessel, to be tried by the courts of that party in conformity with its laws, or be brought before the courts of the party whose territory he reached for trial in conformity with its laws for the offence punishable by the most severe penalty according to the circumstances and seriousness of the acts to which this article refers.
After an initial peak in 1961, an epidemic wave of aviation terrorism started in 1968. In that year a total of 35 aircraft hijackings took place worldwide, more than 40 per cent of these being carried out in the United States. Cuba was the final destination of 12 of the hijacked planes. The worst year in aviation history was 1969. In that year 85 hijack- Regional Variations and Responses 25 ing attempts were recorded worldwide, including 40 attempts against US aircraft. Cuba remained the preferred destination of most hijackers, 31 USregistered aircraft being flown to Cuba during that year.