Age of Terror
In his epic series, the Age of Terror, journalist Peter Taylor traces the modern history and development of terrorism through four major acts of terror over more than 30 years.
In each episode Peter Taylor investigates a notorious terror attack that was emblematic of a particular phase in the modern history of political violence
Age of Terror - Part Three
On Christmas Eve, 1994, four Islamist extremists are preparing to hijack an Air France plane.
But this was a hijacking with a terrible difference. No political demands. No negotiations over hostages.
The plan was to divert the plane and use it as a missile, a weapon of mass destruction landing in the heart of Paris.
On the ground in Algiers, the authorities refused all offers of military help from France.
Then after the death of a third hostage, the Algerian authorities agreed to allow the plane to leave for Paris.
With fuel reserves running low, the plane could only get as far as Marseille, where the French special forces, the GIGN were ready.
Thierry Leveque, a member of the GIGN described the scene: "We know they are heavily armed, that they are likely to use explosives, so we are thinking: as soon as we walk in there, it's going to be fireworks, a real fight."
Listen and find out how the siege ended.
First broadcast Wednesday 18 June.