Saturday, September 17, 2005


How Too Avoid Another 9/11

This is a good start and if measures like this had been taken 10 years ago, 9/11 could have been thwarted. Basically, it seems as though an egyptian student living in the US had been buying dvd's on how to fly planes, act like a pilot, he had bought a pilots uniform and also charts of Memphis airport and other flight related material, most of which he hadn't paid for (which was how this bright spark got caught). Ovbiously there is much, much more to be done until the US is even remotely secure, but this move by the authorities is surely a step in the right direction :

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A university student from Egypt was ordered held without bond after prosecutors said they found a pilot's uniform, chart of Memphis International Airport and a DVD titled "How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act" in his apartment.

The FBI is investigating whether Mahmoud Maawad, 29, had any connection to terrorists. He is awaiting trial on charges of wire fraud and fraudulent use of a Social Security number.

Maawad, who is in the United States illegally, told the judge during a hearing Thursday that he is studying science and economics at the University of Memphis.

U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Thomas Anderson ruled that Maawad be held without bond.

"It is hard for the court to understand why he has a large concentration of those (aviation) items, and nothing else to indicate Mr. Maawad plans to stay in the community," Anderson said.

Maawad had ordered $3,000 in aviation materials, including DVDs titled "Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings," "Airplane Talk," "Mental Math for Pilots" and "Mastering GPS Flying," FBI agent Thad Gulczynski testified.

The company reported Maawad to authorities when he didn't pay for $2,500 of merchandise it had delivered, Gulczynski said.

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