web counter Media Lies: Could we have known?

Monday, January 10, 2005

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Could we have known?

A post at the Counterterrorism blog points to a pdf file discussing the 1994 hijacking of an Air France flight in Algeria. The pdf discusses the history of the hijacking as well as subsequent information that was obtained through various interrogations of terrorists. The conclusion is troubling but not new information.
These intelligence reports do not yet represent juridicial proof of a direct link between the 1994 Air France hijacking, Ramzi Yousef and September 11. However, most of this critical information was made public and available to American law enforcement and intelligence agencies up to seven years prior to 9/11 -- and precious little was done about it. As the GI A and Ramzi Yousef (among others) engaged in a detailed tactical analysis of the "best way" to suicide-crash a hijacked airliner into a major urban target (such as a government building or skyscraper), Americans remained most oblivious to the imminent danger that was approaching. The facts behind the Air France operation in 1994 demonstrate that, by the mid-1990s, it was likely only a matter of time before fanatic disciples of the "Arab-Afghans" and Al-Qaida would successfully conspire to undertake a mass-casualty feat of terrorism akin to 9/11.
Of course we are aware of this because of the Senate Intelligence Committee and 9/11 reports, but this fills in details that were not available in the public reports.