Legal Definition of Hijacking
What is hijacking?
There are many forms of hijacking, but in all instances, the action refers to the illegal usurping of an area or vehicle. The most common form of hijacking is aircraft hijacking, which is the illegal takeover of an airplane or aircraft.
Aircraft hijacking refers to the unlawful seizure of an airplane by an individual or a group of individuals. In most hijacking cases, the pilot of the airplane is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. The hijackers use weapons, intimidation, or a severe threat to command the pilots. In other instances, however, hijackers may fly the aircrafts themselves.
Other forms of hijacking include the unlawful seizure of ships, vehicles, trains, or any form of motorized transportation units. The majority of hijackers use the passengers on board the vehicle as hostages, either as a vehicle for ransom or for an administrative or political concession. As a result of this strategy, the typical hijacking case is used as leverage. Hijackers commonly take control of a ship to have the authorities meet their specific demands.
Motives may vary in a hijacking case from demanding the release of certain inmates, individuals, or political groups to highlighting the complaints of a particular community. Other instances, such as September 11th, use the hijacked vehicle as a weapon to target particular locations.
Because of the pedestrians onboard the vehicle, hijackings are a complicated issue for law enforcement agencies to handle. Typically most hijacking situations end in negotiations or a stand-off between the hijacker and the coordinating law enforcement agencies.