Skip to comments.LA Shooter Is Egyptian National
Posted on 07/04/2002 11:53:12 PM PDT by kattracks
LOS ANGELES, Jul 05, 2002 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- An immigrant Egyptian national armed with guns and a knife opened fire Thursday at the Los Angeles International Airport ticket counter of Israeli airline El Al, killing two people before an airline security guard shot him dead.
The gunman was identified as Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, 41, a resident of Irvine, Calif., who came to the United States from Egypt 10 years ago, the FBI announced after an all-day investigation.
The man also goes by the last name Ali, the FBI said. Authorities were searching a townhome in Irvine, in Orange County southeast of Los Angeles, late Thursday.
The gunman walked into the terminal with a .45-caliber handgun, 9 mm handgun and a six-inch knife, but carrying no identification, said Ron Iden, assistant director of the Los Angeles FBI office.
Four others were injured, authorities said. Thousands were evacuated from the international terminal, although the Federal Aviation Administration said domestic arrivals and departures continued to operate normally.
Late Thursday evening, a bomb squad went to a parking garage at the international terminal to inspect a car believed to belong to the gunman, said Los Angeles police spokesman Jason Lee. The garage was evacuated, but the search was only precautionary.
The shootout happened with security on high alert around the country for a possible terrorist attack on July Fourth. It sent passengers ducking behind counters and hiding in airport offices.
Israel's foreign ministry blamed terrorists, but didn't offer any evidence to support the claim.
The suspect had approached another person at the counter and opened fire shortly before noon, said Alex Baez, a police spokesman. An El Al security guard fatally shot the gunman, police said.
Dr. David Parkus, a trauma surgeon from Texas, said he was at the Singapore Airlines counter when he heard a rapid succession of gunshots and saw the gunman wrestling with an airline security guard. A second guard then shot the gunman, Parkus said.
One guard was hit on the forehead with the butt of the gun and cut on his arm; a second guard was cut on the lower back, stabbed in the left thigh, and had a superficial gunshot wound to his right thigh, said Parkus.
Parkus, director of the trauma surgery unit at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, Texas, said he helped hold the gunmen as he died, then performed CPR on two people.
One of the victims was Yaakov Aminov, 46, relatives at his Los Angeles home confirmed. He was dropping friends off at the airport, and died of gunshot wounds, hospital officials said.
His brother-in-law, Mark Ezerzer, said Aminov has eight children and that his wife is pregnant.
"He loved people and his home was always open," Ezerzer said. "He was a very honest and a good person."
Aminov, a jewelry shop owner, had taken his friend, Michael Shabtay, to the airport. After being caught in the spray of gunfire, Aminov collapsed in Shabtay's arms, Ezerzer said.
Also fatally shot was a 20-year-old woman. The airline said she was an employee of a company that provides ground services to El Al at Los Angeles airport.
El Al had one flight scheduled out of Los Angeles on Thursday, Flight 106 to Toronto and Tel Aviv, said David Douek, a spokesman for the Israeli consulate here. It was scheduled to depart at 4:10 p.m. In Israel early Friday, El Al said about 10 passengers were checking in for the flight when the attack began and about 80 others already had passed through the area.
Yitzhak Amitai, deputy managing director of the airline, said there had been no warnings of such an attack.
The governor praised the airline's response, saying security agents acted quickly and prevented a greater loss of life.
"Like all Californians, I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn of today's shooting," Gov. Gray Davis said in a statement. "That it happened on the day on which we honor what America stands for - liberty, security and diversity - makes this particularly more tragic."
A witness, Hakin Hasidh, 43, of Dusseldorf, Germany, said he was standing in the line next to the El Al counter. After hearing two shots, he turned and saw the gunman fire at passengers in line.
"The first couple of shots, everybody just stood there, frozen like I was," Hasidh said. "It's really hard to tell whether he was aiming at the counter, at people behind the counter or at people in line."
Vanessa Spinelli was dropping off her aunt for a flight when she heard the gunshots from nearby the El Al counter.
"At first I thought it was firecrackers, said Spinelli, 26, of Los Angeles. "Then everybody started screaming."
Thirty-five flights were delayed, affecting 10,500 passengers, said airport spokesman Paul Heney. Five hours after the shooting, most of the international terminal had reopened. Some 900,000 people had been expected to pass through the airport over the holiday weekend - from Thursday through Sunday.
Greg Warren, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, said the agency will review security procedures to see if something more needs to be done.
El Al, based in Israel, is known as one of the most security-conscious airlines in the world. Its formidable security includes armed guards at check-in, sky marshals and extensive searches of luggage. Passengers are told to arrive three hours ahead of flights to make time for the security checks.
"The terrorists deliberately chose the Fourth of July to carry out their crime on the soil of the United States," Israeli foreign ministry spokeswoman Yaffa Ben-Ari said in a statement.
Last year, an Algerian who trained in terrorist camps financed by Osama bin Laden was convicted of plotting to blow up Los Angeles International at the height of the millennium holiday travel period. Ahmed Ressam had been arrested in Washington state on Dec. 14, 1999, while entering the country from Canada in a car with a trunk full of explosives.
By RYAN PEARSON Associated Press WriterCopyright 2002 Associated Press, All rights reserved
Who here is surprised by this?
Had this Arab alien tried this same attack on a U.S. airline, the death toll would have been far higher. By attacking El Al instead, all he got was the Darwin Award for the 21st century and himself killed along with two others.
Well, it's either terrorism or a "hate crime." The distinction rests on whether the perpetrator's motives were substantially political or not. If he simply wanted to take out his rage on Israelis, it was a hate crime. If he also wanted to strike at civilians in order to encourage a change in the policies of one or more governments, in furtherance of some cause (e.g., Islamic Fundamentalism), then he was a terrorist. It may be that not all those who hate the Israelis so passionately qualify as terrorists--the label would not seem to fit the Nazis, for example. Homicidal/suicidal maniacs may simply be so filled with hate that they are compelled to act regardless of the consequences.
The guy was not carrying his Official Terrorist Badge, De-coder ring and ID card, so it will be difficult to say for sure. We simply do not know, and it would be presumptuous to hazard a guess considering the lack of direct evidence.
Whatever AP is paying the writer, its too much.
Just think, if Islam wasn't the religion of love, we would be in a world of trouble. Instead of just shooting up airports and blowing up buildings, no telling what they might do.
But considering we were worrying about a 4th of July nuke in LA Harbor, this shootout is pretty small stuff.
My guess; two more 911 size attacks, or 25 of these LAX type attacks.
BTW - I was following the LAX story on the various TV news channels; no one commented on the fact (except here on the Free Republic) that the authorities knew the age of the perp but not the name.
Will someone who understands Hebrew please advise the meaning of this name? It looks a bit like Jacob Faithful, or the reverse, Faithful Jacob. Am I close?
The time for a rational response to this has long come and gone. CLOSE EVERY MOSQUE. Deport EVERY MUSLIM, "citizen" or not. God knows how many more of these b@stard Islqamic sleepers have been planted here.
God d@mn all Muslims - especially those in America!
It's time to deport them all. Wake up US Government!! We are under attack from within. How many more American deaths post 9/11/2001 will it take before this Government gets it?!
Seems like the real foreigner is Gov. Davis. I always associated America standing for "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".
This is now changed in the Demo Gay agenda to "Liberty, Security, and Diversity". I guess this means Gov Davis can opt to wear a pink security uniform on Monday, a taupe uniform on Tuesday, a cute beret on Wed. and lament about violence on Thursday behind his security guards.
The more quotes I hear from Davis, the more convinced I am that he's a actually a flaming closet queen.
You're just now figuring it out? Sheesh, one look at the guy (his thin, emaciated look ala Gary Condit, stiff hair that doesn't bend in the wind from all the hairspray) told me the guy was a flaming closet homo.
If Californian's don't vote this guy out in November, I'm starting a petition to kick California out of the union.
Don't worry; I think we'll see much more than that.
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