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Newsweek The Hijacking of Air France Newsweek | 31 December 1994

On Christmas Eve, December 1994 four terrorist from the Algerian terrorist group GIA (Islamic Armed Group) hijacked Air France Flight 8969 at Hourari Boumedinne airport in Algiers. Disguised as policemen, they started to check passengers’ passports. It was their weapons that drew the attention of one of the flight attendants. Soon, they revealed their identity as terrorists and asked the women to put cover on their heads. The hijackers recited Qur’an verses and tried to reassure the Algerian passengers. Witness accounts said that they "terrorized" non-Algerians. Their demand was to release three jailed Islamic militant leaders. To prevent the airplane from taking off, they didn’t put off the air stairs. After an ominous message, the negotiator realized their aim was to fly the airplane to Paris and create a fireball out of the airplane to destroy the famous Paris landmark, the Eiffel Tower. This act was an outcome of a resentment toward France during their independence war 30 years ago and the civil war for the last three years. Several hours after the incident, the Armed Islamic Group admitted that they were responsible for the event. The incident caused four passengers killed, three of them were already dead prior to the raid, thirteen passengers and three crew wounded.

Days after the incident, The crew of the A300 and the GIGN forces received high national honors, then Air France discontinued the number "Flight 8969". Flights between Algiers and Paris are now Flights 1555, 1855, 2155, and 2455. Flight 8969 is now used as an Air France codeshare route with the flight being operated by Delta Air Lines. !

25-year-old Abdul Abdullah Yahia, also known as "The Emir," was a petty thief

and greengrocer from the Bab El Qued neighborhood of Algiers. Several passengers said all but one of the hijackers had no beards and closely cropped hair. A woman said that the men "were polite and, correct" and that they "had the determined air of cold-blooded killers." Another passenger said the hijackers "seemed excited, very euphoric" and that they told the occupants that they would teach the French and the world a lesson and show what they were capable of doing. Watch this video of the happening scene: v=tWvkgzbocA4

Work Cited: 1. "Air France Flight 8969." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 June 2013. Web. 06 Feb. 2013. <>. 2. “Air France Flight 8969.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 June 2013. Web. 06 Feb. 2013. <>. 3. Milton, Giles. "Giles Milton." Web log post. : BLUEPRINT FOR 9/11: THE HIJACKING OF AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 8969., 14 Nov. 2011. Web. 06 Feb. 2013. <>. 4. Riding, Alan. "The Militant Group Behind the Hijacking." The New York Times., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013. < the-militant-group-behind-the-hijacking.html>. 5. Sanction/Paris, Thomas. "Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews." Time. Time, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2013. < time/magazine/article/0,9171,163487,00.html>.


humanities 10, hijacking, terrorist