What Strategies are Negotiators Using in Hijacking of Afghan Jetliner?Aired February 7, 2000 - 2:33 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: The hijackers of an Afghan airliner released eight more people today. British authorities who are negotiating with the hijackers say that their only demands have been food and other supplies, but they did ask for the release of one person as well. The crisis began yesterday shortly after the plane took off in Kabul, with hostages released at stops along the way. The airliner remains parked at a runway at Stansted Airport, outside of London.
What strategies are the negotiators using? Lawrence McGinty has more on that and similar crises at the airport.
LAWRENCE MCGINTY, ITN REPORTER (voice-over): Stansted is Britain's the preferred airport for receiving hijacked airplanes because it's surrounded by wide-open spaces and is much quieter than Heathrow or Gatwick. The last hijack here was four years ago, when six Iraqis ceased a Sudanese Airbus. They released the crew and nearly 200 passengers in a matter of hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stansted has a well-rehearsed plan. It is pre-designated airport here in the U.K. for handling situations such as this. The emergency services will be -- will have been standing by as soon as that aircraft left Moscow.
MCGINTY: The Afghan plane was last night directed to area on the apron called Campus One. Parking the plane here means it can be isolated and surrounded by police marksmen and other security forces. The only building nearby is a maintenance hangar. With a plane here, Stansted's main terminal, a mile away, can still be used by the public. Scheduled flights can use three piers where they're normally parked, even if they have to use a shortened runway to avoid getting too close to the hijacked plane.
Ever since the Afghan airliner landed, last night, relays of trained negotiators will have been trying to keep the hijackers calm and to persuade them their action is futile.
At this moment, what one's trying to do is to explain to the hostage-takers the hopelessness of their position. They should be isolated, they should be able to be building up a relationship which is about the next delivery of food, but all the larger ambitions one should try to pick away rather gently to show that really one cannot get anywhere with this.
MCGINTY: Last time, that strategy worked faultlessly, and it should work again.
Lawrence McGinty, ITN.
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