United States v. Yunis
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
924 F.2d 1086 (1991)
In 1985, Fawaz Yunis (defendant) and four other men hijacked a Jordanian Airlines flight in Beirut, Lebanon with two American citizens on board. The plane immediately took off and unsuccessfully attempted to fly to Tunis, where a conference of the Arab League was under way. Yunis and the others sought the removal of all Palestinians from Lebanon. Eventually, the plane landed back in Beirut, the passengers were set free, and the hijackers held a press conference reiterating their demands. The men then blew up the plane and fled from the airport. After an FBI investigation identified Yunis as the likely leader of the hijackers, an arrest warrant was obtained and “Operation Goldenrod” was put into motion to arrest Yunis. Undercover FBI agents lured Yunis onto a yacht in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and arrested him once the craft entered international waters. Yunis was then transferred to a U.S. Navy munitions ship and interrogated for several days. Thereafter, Yunis was flown to Washington, D.C., and charged with conspiracy, aircraft piracy, and hostage taking. Yunis was convicted and he appealed, claiming that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction to try him on the charges.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Mikva, C.J.)
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