Report: 9/11 Hijacker Bypassed FAA

ByABC News
June 14, 2002, 12:53 PM

— -- Report: 9/11 Hijacker Bypassed FAA

D A L L A S, June 13 A suspected Saudi terrorist believed to havepiloted the plane that crashed into the Pentagon bypassed theFederal Aviation Administration for his flight licenses, accordingto a published report today.

Sources and agency records cited by The Dallas Morning Newsshowed that Hani Saleh Hanjour obtained certification by usingprivate examiners who independently contract with the FAA. Thatcertification allowed him to begin passenger jet training at anArizona flight school despite having what instructors laterdescribed as limited flying skills and an even more limited commandof English.

The jet training enabled the 30-year-old Hanjour to take thecontrols of American Airlines Flight 77 on the morning of Sept. 11and crash it into the Pentagon, killing 188 people including allpassengers aboard.

Certification of Hanjour illustrates a flaw in the federalsystem, one official said.

An FAA inspector in California who spoke on condition ofanonymity told the newspaper a pilot now "could go all the waythrough to become a 747 captain, if you will, having never gonebefore the FAA."

Agency records show that Hanjour was certified as an "AirplaneMulti-Engine Land/Commercial Pilot" on April 15, 1999, by DarylStrong, a designated pilot examiner in Tempe, Ariz. It was the lastof three certifications Hanjour obtained from private examiners.

Strong, 71, said his flight logs confirm that he conducted acheck ride with Mr. Hanjour in 1999 in a twin-engine Piper Apachebut that he remembers nothing remarkable about him. Strong, withmore than 50 years of flying experience that included a commercialcrop duster, said until recently he conducted about 200 such checkrides each year, at $200 per flight.

FAA officials confirm one of their inspectors, John Anthony, wascontacted by Pan Am International Flight Academy in Miami inJanuary and February about Hanjour and, at the request of theschool, checked Hanjour's commercial pilot's license to ensure itwas valid.

"There should have been a stop right then and there," saidMichael Gonzales, an FAA inspector speaking as president of theProfessional Airways Systems Specialists chapter in Scottsdale thatrepresents FAA field inspectors. He said Hanjour should have beenre-examined as a commercial pilot, as required by federal law.

The Associated Press

Organizations Fined for Not Securing Radioactive Materials

W A S H I N G T O N, June 13 Security lapses involving radioactive materials have led to scores of enforcement actions againstuniversities, construction companies, hospitals and even the U.S. Army in recent years, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commissionrecords.

In at least 16 cases violators were fined thousands of dollars.

But NRC officials said that the breaches either did not lead to a loss of radioactive material, or involved amounts so small they could not have been useful to terrorists seeking to craft a "dirty bomb."

NRC officials acknowledge they cannot say for certain that no radioactive material has been diverted. Tracking of most of theseindustrial-use materials is left largely to private industry. With 2 million radioactive sources in commerce, there is no certaintyall of it can be accounted for, the officials say.