Surviving Hijackings

Hijackings are bad news. The U.S. Government provides tips on what you should do once a group of men in black masks boards your plane and orders to to fly to Deathistan. The following is excerpted from DEPARTMENT OF STATE PUBLICATION 10217: Security Awareness Overseas, An Overview [Bureau of Diplomatic Security - United States Department of State Overseas Security Advisory Council].

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Have a safe trip!!


The experience of others will be helpful to you if you are the victim of a hijacking. Blend in with the other airline passengers. Avoid eye contact with your captors. Remember there may be other hijackers covertly mixed among the regular passengers.

Although captors may appear calm, they cannot be trusted to behave reasonably or rationally at all times. Stay alert, but do not challenge them physically or verbally. Comply with their instructions.

If interrogated, keep answers short and limited to nonpolitical topics. Carry a family photo; at some point you may be able to appeal to captors' family feelings.

Minimize the importance of your job. Give innocuous reasons for traveling. Never admit to any accusations.

Armed Assault on the Ground

Hostages taken by ground assault are in a situation similar to hijacking except that it occurs within buildings. Business offices, banks, embassies, and trains have been targets. The same advice for dealing with hijackers applies to ground assaults. Should shooting occur, seek cover or lie flat on the floor.

[Source: The United States State Department]

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