"In the midst of a rash of kidnappings, a U.S. citizen living in Haiti was seized and held for ransom. In United States v. Noel, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Eleventh Circuit) recently upheld the conviction of one of the kidnappers under the federal hostage-taking statute. The statute condemns 'whoever, whether inside or outside the United States . . . detains . . . another person in order to compel a third person or a governmental organization to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the person detained . . .' It applies outside the U.S. if either the offender or the victim is a U.S. citizen; the offender later travels, or is brought, to the U.S.; or the targeted 'governmental organization' is the U.S. Government."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10179