United States V Rezaq Omar Mohammed (Air Egypt Flight 648 Hijacking)


The US Federal authorities have been involved in terrorist attacks under a broad range of statutes following a higher number of such attacks being executed on commercial airlines. The prosecution for such crimes is usually dependent on where the crime is committed, the nationality of the airline that is implied in the case, the nationality of the offender and the victim, and some are based on the nature of the attack that is described. It is indicated, however, that in some cases, there is no regard to any of the highlighted factors (Dhaundiyal, 2017).

There is a wide range of crimes that are related to this effect including the outlaw crimes that take place on a commercial airliner. In other cases, the crimes committed are perceived in the context of the aircraft itself while in other instances, the crimes maybe involve the inclusion of explosives and firearms. The last category of the extent of transnational crimes would often involve those that are committed for primarily for terrorist purposes. In each dimension, it is apparent that the law is likely to reach out to the co-conspirators who are involved in the criminal activity or other compliances. Furthermore, even though the most cases involve the application when the offence is done in the US, a vast majority tend to apply to terrorist attacks in overseas especially in cases the victims are US citizens of when the airlines involved are from the US (Dhaundiyal, 2017). The case presented in this analysis involves the assessment of Omar Mohammed Ali Rezaq and his involvement in the hijacking of EgyptAir Flight 648.

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Description of the Relevant Case

The case described involves “United States of America, Appellee, v. Omar Mohammed Ali Rezaq” that involved Omar Mohammed Ali Rezaq appealing the conviction that was declared on him. It was about his involvement in the aircraft piracy 49 U.S.C app in 1994. The case was based on a crime that was committed in 1985 where Rezaq had been involved in a hijacking process where he shot several passengers and in the process killed two of them. He was later apprehended and he pleaded guilty of the charges and was later sentenced to a prison term of seven years and it was until 1993 that he was released. A few moments later, Rezaq was again arraigned and taken to a Nigeria facility where the US had kept him in custody before he was later presented to the US for trial.

The assessment of the background of the case presents a variety of problems that were relevant to the case process. For instance, Rezaq never denied the crime at the trial but claimed that he acted based on insanity and that he was obedient to the military orders. Rezaq was a member of the Abu Nidal and the plane had been hijacked by a group of three people and while the two others were killed in the process of the attack, Rezaq survived. However, Rezaq was accused of taking charge of the hijacking incidence because the separated the Israeli from the American passengers, released the Egyptian and the Filipino female passengers who were on board, and made several other commands.

Problems Highlighted in Dealing with the Case

The authorities often face many challenges when trying to deal with a particular case given the circumstances under which the crimes take place. In the case of Rezaq’a cases, several issues were raised when he made his appeal. The first involved his account that the district court erred in the persecution process that was permitted to him relative to the air piracy statute (FindLaw, 2016). He cited being persecuted in bar sequential persecutions yet he had been prosecuted in Malta. Another problem that Rezaq raised that posed a problem to the authorities was that district court had erred in the process of applying for a provision. It meant that he had been offended as the trail had adversely affected his case and tainted the evidence that was presented. In fact, he even argued that the evidence ought to have been presented in a separate phase of trial process, or the alternative of presenting it in a less grisly form should have been sort. The authorities also faced a challenge handling the case after Rezaq argued that the publicity that had been done when the trial was almost coming to an end that resulted from the crash from a different plane affected the jury’s deliberations. The last problem that Rezaq pointed out that caused further problem in the handling of the case was related to the rules and laws that define the provision of air privacy statute that guided the defendant’s life imprisonment guidelines (FindLaw, 2016). It would thus mean that Rezaq’s case was complicated on various fronts making it hard for the authorities.


It is of greater importance that there is a need to take on the effective measures that will reduce the complication noted when handling transnational crimes. The first goal would be to define and quantitate when precisely is included in what is perceived as an organized crime (Voronin, 2000). As they are not entirely new, there is a need to ensure that there is universality to avoid the problems handling one case in one country and finding different laws in another country as it occurred with Rezaq in Nigeria and in the US. It is also advised that the national level ought to take responsibility in the control of the transnational crime and organized crime incidences. It will mean that the methods that are taken to control transnational crimes should be defined at the national jurisdiction level to avoid the likelihood of issuing general measure. Instead, the focus should be on defining the exact details of the process so that the complex state is best perceived as special consideration outlined. It is also important to highlight that the framework for special preventive measures ought to be outlined and should be emphasized at the transnational level. Such provisions will ensure that the problems noted with confusing codes and challenging of the cases on ground of evidence being crude can be addressed at the legislative level (Voronin, 2000). It would imply that with the implementation of these provisions, the problem that are common in such cases will be addressed amicably to avoid further problems to the authorities.



Dhaundiyal, M. (2017). Design thinking for a competitive advantage. Strategos. Retrieved from https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/strategos/design-thinking-for-a-competitive-advantage/

FindLaw. (2016). UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Omar Mohammed Ali REZAQ, a/k/a Omar Marzouki, a/k/a Omar Amr, Appellant. Find Law. Retrieved from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-dc-circuit/1222111.html

Voronin, Y. A. (2000). Measures to Control Transnational Organized Crime, Summary. National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS). Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/184773.pdf