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Friday, July 4, 2014

Murder LA 000052

Hadayet, from FBI handout
via CBS News
July 4th, 2002 was Hesham Mohamed Hadayet's 41st birthday. Hadayet immigrated from Egypt ten years earlier, obtaining a green card and starting a limosine service which was now struggling financially.

He started his birthday with a call to his wife, who was visiting relatives in Cairo with the couple's two children. He asked how the boys were doing and that she make sure they reviewed their schoolwork during the trip.

Then Hadayet headed out from his Irvine townhouse to LAX, with two handguns and a hunting knife. He opened fire near the ticket counter for the Israeli El Al airline, fatally wounding 25-year-old El Al employee Victoria Hen and Yaakov Aminov, a diamond broker who was standing in line with a friend.

Three more were wounded, including the two security guards who shot and subdued Hadayet.

Hen's boyfriend had been planning to propose the next day. Aminov was already married, with a pregnant wife who fainted at the news of his passing.

Hadayet died from his injuries a few days later.

This was the first Independence Day after the 2001 9/11 attacks and investigators were cautious about jumping to any conclusions. They emphasized that it seemed to be an isolated incident and that there were no signs of accomplices.

In 2003 the FBI concluded that it was a terrorist attack, motivated by Hadayet's anti-Israeli views. They agreed with an earlier assessment that Hadayet "hoped to influence U.S. government policy in favor of the Palestinians." It was also reported that Hadayet had previously been "infuriated" when a neighbor hung up large American and Marine Corps flags, which were still displayed on that July 4th.