Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)
Egypt Surprised by Furor over L.A. Shooting
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's foreign minister expressed surprise on Saturday at the furor over a deadly attack by an Egyptian national at Los Angeles airport, saying the motives were still unclear and similar incidents occurred frequently.
Limousine driver Hesham Mohamed Hadayet opened fire at the Los Angeles airport ticket counter of Israeli airline El Al on July 4, killing two people and injuring five others before he was shot dead.
Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher told reporters in Cairo that such incidents occur repeatedly in the United States and other countries and said he was surprised by the exaggeration of this event in particular.
Hadayet's nationality and the fact that his two victims were both Jewish have already led Israeli officials to label the shooting a "terrorist attack," but U.S. officials have cautioned against jumping to conclusions.
"Until now, nobody knows the motives behind this incident. We have to await the outcome of the current investigations so that we can review them," MENA quoted Maher as saying.
U.S. investigators are still seeking to establish whether Hadayet, who had been a U.S. resident since 1992 and had no known ties to groups the United States calls "terrorists," was motivated by hatred or despondency over a personal crisis.
Egypt's semi-official al-Ahram daily said on Saturday that local security authorities had no information on record about Hadayet and there was no evidence he had any links to extremist activities when he lived in Egypt.
The issue is particularly sensitive in Egypt, which fought a bloody battle against Islamic militants at home last decade and whose reputation has suffered from revelations that many of the suspected culprits behind the September 11, 2001 suicide hijack attacks on New York and Washington were Egyptian.
Among the most notorious are Ayman al-Zawhari, a top aide of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and Mohammed Atta, who flew one of the planes that smashed into the World Trade Center.
The Egyptian's wife and two children are currently visiting Egypt on holiday. Hadayet's uncle Mohamed Abdel-Hafiz told Reuters on Friday that his nephew had no links to Islamic militants.
© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.