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Justice, FBI: Los Angeles airport shooting was an act of terror


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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The FBI and the Department of Justice have agreed with an earlier federal conclusion that a shooting at an Israeli airline ticket counter in 2002 fit "the definition of terrorism," an FBI spokesman said Friday.

Last September, federal investigators determined that the July 4, 2002 shooting at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport was a terrorist act, which was carried out by a lone gunman bent on becoming a martyr.

Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian national, opened fire at the airport, killing two Israelis and wounding four others before being shot dead by a security guard for the Israeli airline.

The earlier report concluded that Hadayet intended to kill to influence government policy for the Palestinian cause.

During the extensive worldwide investigation, sources said, investigators found no evidence linking Hadayet to any terrorist group. However, they characterized the shooting as an act of terrorism because Hadayet espoused anti-Israeli views and was opposed to U.S. policy in the Middle East, the sources said.

Investigators had already concluded that he was driven by a number of other factors that day: his limousine business in California was failing, his marriage was suffering, and after his wife and children left for Egypt, he was alone and depressed on his birthday -- the day of the attacks.


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