The authorities appeared to draw no lessons from the two attacks in 1994. But one of them, in hindsight, had striking similarities to those of Sept. 11.
That was the December 1994 hijacking of an Air France flight in Algiers. The sponsor of the hijacking was an organization called the Armed Islamic Group, which said it was trying to rid Muslim Algeria of Western influence, specifically from France. Four young Algerians, members of a subgroup called Phalange of the Signers in Blood, commandeered the plane at the airport and ordered it to fly to Marseille, from which they said they wanted to fly to Paris.
But they demanded that it be loaded with 27 tons of fuel -- about three times as much as required for the flight to Paris. The plane was an Airbus A300, which is nearly as large as the Boeing 767's that struck the World Trade Center. The French authorities determined from hostages who had been released and from other sources that the group planned to explode the plane over Paris or crash it into the Eiffel Tower.
Condi's contention looks stranger and stranger. After the Kean statement I suspect a few lights are going to shine into a few gaps in the record. I do not expect them to find conspiracy. I do expect them to find stunning negligence at a level that approaches criminality.