Case 128 - Negotiating with Terrorists: TWA Flight 847
Snyder, Rodney A.
On June 14, 1985, a TWA airliner was hijacked. For 17 days many countries, organizations, and individuals tried to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the ensuing crisis. The hijacking directly involved U.S. President Ronald Reagan, officials of his administration, and foreign leaders. Although this case study focuses primarily on U.S. decision-makers and their perceptions, it also presents the interests of other participants, including the terrorists. It examines the removal of the hostages from the plane in Beirut, breakdowns in the negotiations, factionalism among the terrorist groups involved, deadlines, the shadow of the use of U.S. military force, and the intensity of international press coverage. It is designed to foster students’ understanding of the negotiating process.