2002 Los Angeles International Airport shooting

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2002 Los Angeles International Airport shooting
Location Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Date July 4, 2002
Target Israeli targets in Los Angeles International Airport (Los Angeles)
Attack type
Weapons Two pistols, knife
Deaths 3 (including the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators Hesham Mohamed Hadayet

On July 4, 2002, a terrorist attack occurred by a lone gunman at the airline ticket counter of El Al, Israel's national airline, at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California.

The attack[edit]

On July 4, 2002 at around 11:30 a.m., a lone gunman approached the El Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles International Airport, pulled out two pistols and started shooting at the 90 passengers standing in the line. Initially, the assailant killed 25-year-old Customer Service Agent Victoria Hen, who was standing behind the counter, with a gunshot to the chest. Later, the assailant opened fire at the passengers as they huddled nearby and killed 46-year-old passenger Yaakov Aminov. In addition, he injured four other bystanders.

After the gunman fired 10 bullets at the crowd, one of El Al's security guards, who was unarmed, managed to knock him down. Meanwhile, El Al's security officer, Chaim Sapir, ran to the scene but was stabbed by the assailant with a knife. Despite this, Sapir managed to draw his pistol and kill the gunman.[1][2][3]

The perpetrator[edit]

The assailant was identified as Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian national who immigrated to the United States in 1992. Hadayet arrived in the United States from Egypt as a tourist.[citation needed]

Hadayet had a green card which allowed him to work as a limousine driver. He was married, and had at least one child. At the time of the shooting, Hadayet was living in Irvine, California.[4]


Considering that the attack occurred almost one year after the September 11 attacks, the FBI concluded that the attack was terrorism, although the gunman acted alone.[5] In September 2002, federal investigators concluded that Hadayet hoped to influence U.S. government policy in favor of the Palestinians, and that the incident was a terrorist act.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dougherty, Jon E. (July 11, 2002). "LAX terrorist in U.S. on amnesty exemption". WorldNetDaily. WorldNetDaily, Inc. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ התקפת יריות על דלפק אל-על בלוס אנג'לס [An attack on the Los Angeles ticket counter]. Yedioth Internet (in Hebrew). Ynet and agencies. July 6, 2002. 
  3. ^ Blankstein, Andrew (July 7, 2002). "LAX Assailant Died of Abdominal Gunshot Wound". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ Feldman, Charles (July 5, 2002). "Los Angeles airport shooting kills 3". CNN (Los Angeles, California). Retrieved December 4, 2004. 
  5. ^ "FBI, Justice: El Al attack was terrorism". CNN. April 12, 2003. Retrieved December 2, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Federal investigators: L.A. airport shooting a terrorist act". CNN. September 5, 2002. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  7. ^ CNN report on the shooting

External links[edit]