Hostage taking refers to the action of seizing or holding one or more persons in order to achieve certain goals. The offenders (i.e., hostage takers) could be criminals or prisoners, terrorists, or mentally disordered people. A hostage-taking incident may be the result of sophisticated advance planning, but often the offenders take hostages randomly when committing other criminal acts. Typically the hostage takers make demands and threaten to hurt or kill the hostages if the demands are not fulfilled within a given period of time. Hostage taking is a general term that incorporates at least four types: abduction and kidnappings, skyjackings, non-aerial hijacking, and barricade situations. This entry briefly introduces hostage-taking research, discusses different types of hostage taking, and evaluates the “no concession” policy adopted ...

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