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A hijacker threatens to blow up the plane with himself on it unless he's paid a ransom, but it's a bad strategy because he has too much to lose if the plane really blew up.

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The sentence is almost fine, as is. Most of the other verbs in the sentence are in the present tense, so why complicate things unnecessarily? I suggest you change blew up to blows up, however, another present-tense verb. So you have:

A hijacker threatens to blow up the plane with himself on it unless he's paid a ransom, but it's a bad strategy because he has too much to lose if the plane really blows up.

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