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El Al Ticket Counter Shooting at LAX (2002)
El Al Ticket Counter Shooting at LAX (2002)
July 4, 2002
Los Angles
United States
Total victims:
Photo by TimBray at en.wikipedia

El Al Ticket Counter Shooting at LAX (2002)

2 Jews were killed in an antisemitic attack in Los Angeles, US on 7/4/2002

The shooting at LAX's El Al ticket counter, resulting in two deaths, emphasized the global nature of the threats facing civilian aviation and national carriers.

On July 4, 2002, a day marked in the United States as Independence Day, a harrowing act of violence unfolded at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In an attack that shook the local and international community, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, an Egyptian national, opened fire in a crowded terminal, targeting the ticket counter of El Al, Israel's national airline, known for its high security. This deliberate act of violence resulted in the death of two individuals and wounded several others before the attacker was fatally shot by a security guard.


Los Angeles International Airport is one of the world's busiest airports, serving as a major gateway for international travelers. The El Al ticket counter, like those of all airlines, is a public and therefore vulnerable area. El Al is renowned for its stringent security measures, including armed personnel at check-in counters around the globe. The attacker, Hadayet, a resident of Irvine, California, who had emigrated from Egypt, chose a symbolic target and date for his assault, aiming to cause maximum devastation and garner widespread attention.

Details of the Attack:

Hadayet arrived at the airport armed with two handguns and a knife. Without warning, he opened fire at the El Al ticket counter, targeting airline employees and passengers. His rampage was quickly met with a response from El Al's security personnel, who engaged and ultimately killed him, thereby preventing further loss of life. The motivation behind the attack was investigated thoroughly, with authorities exploring various theories, including terrorism, though Hadayet acted alone and was not known to be affiliated with any terrorist organization.

Victims of the Attack:

The attack claimed the lives of two Israeli citizens:

- **Victoria Hen**, 25, who was working at the ticket counter as a customer service agent for El Al. She was remembered for her kindness and dedication to her job, which involved assisting travelers in their journey.

- **Yaakov Aminov**, 46, a jeweler and father of eight, who was at the airport to see off a friend. Aminov was known in his community as a generous and devout man, deeply committed to his faith and family.

The shooting at LAX's El Al ticket counter was a stark reminder of the global nature of the threats facing civilian aviation and the particular vulnerabilities of national carriers like El Al. In the aftermath, security measures at airports, especially in the United States, were scrutinized and bolstered to prevent similar tragedies.

This tragic event not only highlighted the ongoing challenges of protecting soft targets in public spaces but also the indiscriminate nature of such attacks, which aim to spread fear and disrupt societies. The lives lost and the bravery of those who responded to the attack are remembered as part of the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism.

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