Incident Summary:

12/24/1999: Five suspected Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HuM) militants hijacked an Indian Airlines Airbus flying from Kathmandu for New Delhi with 178 passengers and 11 crew members aboard. The hijackers, armed with guns, grenades and knives took control of the Flight 814 some 40 minutes after takeoff and demanded it fly to Lahore, Pakistan. The plane stopped in India, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates before landing in Afghanistan on Dec. 25. The hijackers first demanded the freeing of just one prisoner in Kashmir, a Pakistani Islamic cleric and guerrilla leader named Maulana Masood Azhar. Later they raised their demands to the release of 36 insurgents and $200 million. On New Year's Eve, the hijackers freed the remaining 155 hostages in exchange for the release of three pro-Kashmiri militants imprisoned in India. Only one person died as a result of the hijacking.




South Asia

region/u.s. state:


Near Kathmandu

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hijacking
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Airports and Aircraft
Name of Entity Indian Airlines
Specific Description Indian Airlines Airbus flying from the Kathmandu for New Delhi
Nationality of Target India
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 189
US Hostages 1
Days of Kidnapping 8
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Ransom Yes
Total Ransom Amount Demanded 200000000.00
Ransom Amount Demanded from US Sources Unknown
Total Ransom Amount Paid 0.00
Total Ransom Amount Paid by US Sources Unknown
Ransom Notes One hostage was killed on day 1. Ransom demand included $200 million (U.S.), the body of a dead comrade, and the release of a Muslim cleric and 35 other militants held in Indian jails. They settled for the release of three prominent militants: Maulana Masood Azhar, Mohammad Omar Syed, and Mushtaq Ahmad Zarzar. One of the released was a cleric who leads a group seeking independence for Indian-held Kashmir.
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Grenade
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Firearms Handgun
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Dynamite/TNT
Weapon Details
The hijackers were armed with dynamite, AK-47 assault rifles, pistols and hand grenades.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HuM) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 5
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Pamela Constable, Washington Post Foreign Service, “Hijackers of Jet Flee to Pakistan, Afghans Assert; India Vows to 'Continue to Seek Justice',” The Washington Post, January 2, 2000.
Ashok Sharma, “Air India Pilot Recalls Nightmare of Hijack,” The Ottawa Citizen, January 4, 2000.
Binaj Gurubacharya, “Indian Airlines Hijack Report Submitted to Nepal Government,” Associated Press Worldstream, January 24, 2000.