Newspaper reports man who killed two at LA airport had been having money problems

Sunday, July 14th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The man who killed two people at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport had been having money problems and his business was on the verge of collapse, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, 41, was killed after the July 4 attack, shot by a security guard.

The FBI said after the killings that it didn't know why Hadayet targeted the ticket area of Israel's national airline. Israeli officials called it an act of terrorism.

Hadayet had left behind an upper-class family in Egypt when he moved to the United States 10 years ago on a six-month tourist visa, the Times reported.

He overstayed his visa, worked illegally as a cab driver, and later bought a limousine before he knew how to drive the extra-long vehicle, the newspaper said. He avoided deportation when his wife won a lottery for permanent residency.

Hadayet lived with his wife and two sons in suburban Irvine, and was known as a quiet, observant Muslim who wanted people to believe he was running a successful business.

But in recent months, he couldn't keep up with his liability insurance and his wife began asking neighbors for baby-sitting work, the Times said.

``All I want to know is: What will be the outcome of the investigation?'' Hadayet's widow, Hala Mohammed Sadeq al Awadly, said in Cairo, where she and the couple's young sons have been vacationing since mid-June. ``And from the investigation we should know exactly what happened and then we will know what the truth is.''

In Egypt, Hadayet started a career at the Misr Iran Bank and was chief of the securities and credit division by the age of 30.

Hadayet's family said he left that job and emigrated because of a longtime desire to live in America, the Times said.

But one American acquaintance said Hadayet had suggested his tenure at the bank ended badly.

``He had to leave Egypt because he was in trouble there for some accounting thing he did,'' said Bob Milstead, who runs a limousine service in Newport Beach. ``He said he was framed.''

Hadayet had trouble adjusting to his new life, said Emad al Abd, a cousin in Cairo.

``He had to start all over again,'' Abd told the Times. ``It was difficult to begin with. It was not what he expected when he left a bank here in Egypt to go to the States. It's hard when you feel you've gone down, but he insisted on sticking with it.''

After working as a cab driver, Hadayet started a limousine business in 1997. He bought a 28-foot limo the next year, putting $3,000 down on the $30,000 vehicle and agreeing to $1,225 monthly payments.

Car salesman Virgil Budnic said Hadayet assured him he knew how to drive the stretch limo but gashed the passenger side when he hit a pole moments after getting behind the wheel.