The shooting deaths of two Israeli-Americans at Los Angeles International Airport last year was an act of terrorism, but the Egyptian-born killer had no links to Islamic extremist groups, according to a final FBI report on the case.
Hadayet, who was standing in the El Al passenger line, opened fire with a .45-caliber handgun, killing Hen and Aminov. He was shot and killed by an El Al security guard within seconds.
After waffling for months over Hadayet’s motives and whether to classify the attack as terrorism — to the frustration of the victims’ families and Israeli officials — the FBI in its report concludes that the Egyptian immigrant methodically planned the killings to express his anger over Israeli treatment of Palestinians.
A devout Muslim, Hadayet had “told people close to him that he believed in violent jihad and also believed in targeting innocent civilians,” Los Angeles FBI spokesman Matthew McLaughlin said April 11.
“It appears clear, with El Al being a government-owned Israeli airline, that he was launching an attack against that government,” McLaughlin added.
In the weeks before the shooting, which occurred on Hadayet’s 41st birthday, he had closed several bank accounts, bought guns and sent his family on vacation to Egypt.
The FBI concluded that Hadayet had acted as a loner.
“There was absolutely no indication that he had an affiliation with any terrorist organization or person,” McLaughlin said.
Moshe Bachar, the brother of Aminov’s widow, Anat, said that he welcomed the FBI’s concluding report, but that it didn’t change anything for his sister and “won’t bring her husband back.”
Bachar added that Anat Aminov, mother of five children ranging in age from 2 to 10, found herself in difficult financial circumstances. He hoped that government assistance would now be forthcoming.
Members of the Hen family could not be reached for comment.
Attorneys for the Aminov and Hen families have filed claims totaling $58 million against the City of Los Angeles, charging insufficient security at the airport, late police response and inadequate medical care.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.