- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 7, 2002

From combined dispatches
LOS ANGELES The Egyptian immigrant who killed two persons and injured four others when he opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday had faced deportation in the 1990s and only received his green card through the luck of the draw.
It wasn't clear why the Immigration and Naturalization Service rejected Hesham Mohamed Hadayet's request for residency in February 1996, INS spokesman Francisco Arcaute said yesterday.
The INS began deportation procedures, but in 1997 Hadayet was granted permanent residency through his wife, Hala, who received an immigration visa through the State Department's annual Diversity Lottery Program, Mr. Arcaute said.
The Orange County (Calif.) Register newspaper, which first reported Hadayet's immigration woes yesterday, said he entered the country legally in 1992.
Hadayet, 41, was shot and killed by El Al airlines security agents Thursday, when he showed up at the ticket counter of the Israeli airline and began firing with one of two Glock semiautomatic handguns he was carrying.
The two victims killed were Israeli-born U.S. residents. Israeli officials have labeled the incident a terrorist act.
U.S. investigators continued to say yesterday that there was no evidence Hadayet was linked to known terrorist groups.
In Cairo, members of his family said they believed he was motivated by financial problems with the Israeli airline, not by politics or terrorism.
In the first official Egyptian reaction to the shooting, Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher also said he believed that Hadayet was carrying out a personal grudge.
"Egyptian security services on Friday told the father of Hesham Mohamed Hadayet the incident was due to financial problems with El Al," one of his cousins, Emad al-Omda, told the Agence France-Presse news service by telephone from the family home in Cairo.
Mr. Omda said the Israeli airline had been late in paying for two limousine rentals from the Egyptian immigrant's company.
"We are sure that he had no connection with extremist organizations. He is a pious Muslim, but he is not at all extremist. The proof of this is that he agreed to work with the Israeli company El Al," Mr. Omda said.
Mr. Maher, the foreign minister, also said he was skeptical that the July Fourth shooting was part of an organized terrorist attack.
"No one has suggested that this disaster was caused by a specific reason other than a personal one," he said.
His cousin Mr. Omda said Hadayet went to the United States in 1992 "to improve his level of life" and had hoped to obtain U.S. nationality with the help of an uncle who lived in the United States.
"His uncle helped him to work and to take the green card after his arrival in 1992, and he was supposed to have taken U.S. nationality this year," said Mr. Omda, a businessman in the city of Tanta, north of Cairo.
The Hadayet family appeared to have lived a largely quiet life in their Irvine, Calif., apartment complex during the past several years. Neighbors described him as quiet and aloof, but the Register said he was apparently on friendly terms with a Jewish neighbor who moved away.
Other acquaintances said he quietly harbored resentment toward Israel and was angry about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
"He said he hates Israelis] in general because they're destroying the Egyptian people," said Abdul Zahab, who worked briefly as a driver for Hadayet's small limousine service.
Police files from Irvine show that officers went to his apartment on a domestic dispute call six years ago, but he was not prosecuted. Nothing else in the files hints at the violence he unleashed Thursday, his 41st birthday.
"He was never hateful or belligerent," said Dan Danilewicz, whose 17-year-old son was a friend of the Hadayet family. "I can't see him carrying a knife or gun into the airport. Nothing anti-American or anti-Semitic ever came out of their mouths."
Hadayet's wife and sons, Adam, 8, and Omar, 14, left California for Egypt about a week before the shootings.

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