Hostage TakingGravamen of the Offense
This section prohibits (1) the seizing or detaining of an
(2) coupled with a threat to kill, injure, or continue to detain that
(3) in order to compel a third person or a governmental organization to do
abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the
of the detained individual. See United States v.
944 F.2d 220, 223 (5th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 503 U.S. 965 (1992).
seizure or detention contemplated by the statute includes both physical
-- confinement against the victim's will -- as well as non-physical
such as the victim's detention through fear or deception. Id. at
It is clearly the intent of the Congress that the statutory phrase,
"third person or a governmental organization" include everything covered by
term "third party" used in the Hostage Taking Convention. The term
organization" covers national, State, and local governments as well as
international governmental organizations. See 18 U.S.C. §
The term "person" covers "corporations, companies, associations, firms,
partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals."
See 1 U.S.C. § 1.
[cited in USAM 9-60.700]