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Gunman Kills Two at LAX: It's Terrorism

July 06, 2002

Re "Gunman Kills Two at LAX," July 5: A heavily armed Egyptian-born man opens fire at an El Al terminal, and the FBI hesitates to call it terrorism. Perhaps, FBI officials say, it was "only" a hate crime. When a worldwide movement like irredentist Islamism calls upon every Muslim to rise up and slaughter Americans and Jews, is an event like the LAX shootings anything but the ultimate success of terrorist strategy and tactics? When Yasser Arafat's regime foments hatred against Israeli civilians, do his lip-service condemnations of homicide bombers absolve him of blame?

The U.S. must realize, as Israel has for decades, that terrorist operatives, whether recruited in person or inspired from a distance, are only foot soldiers within the terrorist infrastructure. The ideological and financial nerve centers of this infrastructure must be destroyed. Only then will we be safe at our airports, houses of worship and other public gathering places

Jay Braun

Los Angeles

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The FBI advised there was an "incident" at LAX. A man leaves a note at home that says "Read the Koran," carries a couple of guns and a knife to the El Al check-in counter and starts to kill people. We know the FBI has been unable to answer many questions in recent months concerning national safety, but you would think officials would at least be capable of recognizing terrorism when it occurs.

Tom McBride

Long Beach

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So, with all the security, a gunman still got into the airport and shot people. I guess we should be very grateful that the El Al security guard at the Bradley terminal had a loaded gun, or the victim and death tolls would have been much higher.

As to the National Guard members who were at LAX and told [for a short period in October] not to have their weapons loaded, perhaps this will help people understand that folly. You do not fight deadly force with politically correct platitudes. You fight deadly force with equal, if not greater, deadly force. And you don't worry about understanding the motives of that terrorist; you eliminate him from society.

Barry Levy

Redondo Beach

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El Al's outstanding security mitigated what could have been a much worse tragedy. No airline in the world matches El Al's security because it is very expensive--mostly paid by the government of Israel. Israel is to be commended; however, one has to think about the fact that the U.S. gives Israel $3 billion each year. It is time for the U.S. to re-regulate our air carriers and insist that they have comparable security to El Al's, or else we should pay for security for our airlines that matches El Al's.

Bill Halpin

Signal Hill

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Each state already has its own group of professional law enforcement men and women who could take over airport security tomorrow and run it like champs. I'm talking about the Department of Corrections. Not only could its guards screen and search passengers and carry-on items but also checked-through luggage and all vehicles entering the airport. In addition to that they could handle tarmac and perimeter security.

Yes, I'm suggesting a main gate, double-fence barbed wire and guard towers. Maybe even some dogs. Now, that would be a secure airport. Anything short of that would be just for looks.

Scott Aguilar

Whittier

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