The Walkerville Weekly Reader

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Walkerville, VA
Monday, July 8, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Ticket agent foils terrorism at LAX

California Senator calls for extending program that arms airline employees.

LAX ticket agent Victoria Hen foiled a potential terrorist act on the fourth of July. When Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old businessman from suburban Irvine, pulled a gun in the crowded El Al check-in area, 25-year-old Hen pulled her own weapon and killed him with a single shot to the chest. The gunman was armed with two handguns, a six-inch knife, and extra magazines.

Yaakov Aminov, 46, a jeweler and father of eight who was dropping off a friend, said that “it all happened so quickly. This guy pulled a gun as I was helping my friend unload some luggage. There was a noise like thunder. I almost fainted, but then the gunman just fell to the ground.”

Ms. Hen was armed as part of a controversial new security program recently passed by congress to test the viability of allowing pilots, flight attendants, and airline crew to carry self-defense arms inside airports. The program was forced through by Democrats over the objections of Republicans and the President.

“This program was designed to foil just such an attack,” said Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). “Let terrorists be warned: you can’t go around killing Jews anymore. We fight back.” According to Schumer, “the program had been held up in congress by right-wing congressmen who oppose self-defense by at-risk populations. Fortunately, senators Boxer, Feinstein, and I were able to force it through in time to stop this potentially deadly act of terrorism.” Schumer called on expanding the test program, saying that the program “has clearly passed the test. It works.”

“We’re very proud of her,” said Ms. Hen’s fiancé, who proposed over the holiday weekend. The two plan to be married in August.

Two El Al security guards assisted the plucky ticket agent after the shooting. “Usually, we only get there in time to clean up after murders have already been committed,” said one of the security guards. “It was refreshing to get to the scene and find that the only body we had to clean up was the terrorist’s.”

Some 6,000 people were evacuated from the terminal, which was closed for more than four and a half hours. Twenty international flights were put on hold as the FBI and police investigated the attempted crime.

In Fresno, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) joined Schumer in his call for expanding the Airline Self-Defense Act to further prevent terrorism in the future. “There’s no reason why tomorrow we shouldn’t see a change at the airports after this incident,” she wrote to the Department of Transportation. “We need to ensure that all terrorist acts are met with such resistance. That’s what I’m calling for.”

Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn disagreed. “We don’t know that he was there to kill people,” said Mayor Hahn. “It is not the ticket agent’s job to act as judge, jury, and executioner. In Los Angeles, vigilantism is illegal. We need to push these unfortunate confrontations outside of any area where such vigilantism can occur.” According to Hahn, “if congress is going to arm flight crew, we’ll have to push terrorists to areas where there are no flight crew.” Hahn proposes adding a new screening area “in front of the terminals” where “no employee will be allowed to carry firearms.”

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