Hostage taking is the seizing of people or a person by one of the two parties in conflict to force the opposing party to meet certain demands. Hostage taking can either be criminal or terrorism depending on the situations under which it happens. The aim of those who commit criminal hostage is to highlight a particular point of view (Forest & Girouz, 2011). In addition, criminal terrorism may arise because of mental disturbance of the perpetrator. Criminal hostage taking includes a parent taking a child in guardianship disagreement with a view that the other party is unfit to take care of the child.
Prisoners can seize hostages to stress on their need for change. This change would include more visits and demands for better food. An example of criminal hostage is the case of Paul Jordan, a former Cheltenham volunteer firefighter who kidnapped, and assaulted people because of frustrations having been terminated from his work (Cassey & Finarelli, 2015). He was charged with several charges, including attempted kidnapping, assault, criminal trespass, burglary, false imprisonment, and defiant trespass (Cassey & Finarelli, 2015).
Hostage taking as a form of terrorism involves criminals targeting non-combats. This is a political scope meant to cause coerciveness. The criminals cause psychological trauma of war and crime. This act of terrorism is primarily designed to destroy lives and property. The terrorist carefully choose their hostages. The probability of killing the hostages is normally high and is often a premeditated option unless the opposing party meets the demands put before it. Those carrying out this criminal act may also easily kill themselves. A good example is the Lord’s Resistance Army activities in Uganda.
Forest, J., & Girouz, J. (2011). Terrorism and Political Violence in Africa: Contemporary Trends in a Shifting Terrain. Terrorism Research Initiative, Vol 5, No. 3-4.
Cassey, T., & Finarelli, L. (April 8, 2015). Former LaMott firefighter charged with kidnapping in relation to hostage incident. The Times Herald. Retrieved from http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150408/former-cheltenham-firefighter-charged-with-kidnapping-after-hostage-situation.