View Full Version : Egyptian Pilot Poser At JFK Goes on Trial

14th Jan 2002, 23:34
Another Egyptian in New York with a questionable alibi. Again, maybe coincidental. Looks like the feds think there may be more to it.


January 14, 2002

Egyptian Man Posing As Pilot on Trial

Filed at 2:06 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- An Egyptian man who arrived at Kennedy Airport a week after the terrorist attacks with a fake pilot's uniform and license and a forged flight-school certificate went on trial Monday on charges of lying to authorities.

Prosecutors have acknowledged they have no evidence that Wael Abdel Rahman Kishk, 21, was part of a potential "second wave'' of attacks following Sept. 11, but said he acted enough like a suicide hijacker to arouse suspicion.

"The discovery of the pilot's uniform and fake documents suggested that Kishk might have been hoping to wrongfully gain access to the cockpit of the jetliner,'' federal prosecutor Dwight Holton said in a letter to the court.

"With this backdrop, the question of whether Mr. Kishk intended to learn to fly went directly to the question of whether Kishk intended to also assume control of that jetliner.''

Jury selection began Monday. If convicted of charges he lied to a terrorist task force detective to conceal his plans to study aviation, Kishk could get five years in prison.

Kishk, who had a legitimate U.S. visa, was stopped Sept. 19 by Immigration and Naturalization Service agents for a luggage search after arriving from Spain on a flight that originated in Cairo, Egypt.

When asked by a detective why he came to the United States, Kishk claimed "over and over again'' that he planned to study business in Washington state, prosecutors said in court papers. "When pressed, he admitted ... in fact he intended to take flight training courses,'' the papers said.

The agents found the certificate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., where the FBI believed one of the Sept. 11 hijackers had trained, authorities said.

They also discovered fake Federal Aviation Administration documents, including one in which the word federal was misspelled "federral,'' court papers said.

Kishk has said he meant no harm and claimed he forged the paperwork and fashioned the homemade uniform "to impress his friends,'' a police report said.