Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The man who gave 9/11 terrorists flying lessons

Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston  

HOUSTON (FOX 26) -  Houston is now home to a man who unwittingly trained two of the 9/11 terrorists to fly.

Rudi Dekkers owned Huffman Aviation in Venice, Florida.  And for six months he and his instructors worked with Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, the hijackers who were at the controls of the planes that later took out the twin towers.

Dekkers says he met Atta on Independence Day of 2000 when the pair first inquired about flying lessons, and he immediately sensed an evil aura about him.

"The only thing that I ask myself sometimes is, ‘Should I have listened to my inner self'?" Dekkers told FOX 26 News. "You don't like that guy.  Should you train him?  But you know what?  If I would not have trained him, they would have been trained somewhere else."

Dekkers says he had no idea what the two men were really up to.  After several run-ins, he eventually kicked them out of his flight school.

He never heard from them again until the FBI came asking about Atta and Al-Shehhi on September 12, 2001.

In the wake of 9/11, through the whispers that followed, Rudi Dekkers says he lost nearly everything.

He wrote a book – "Guilty By Association" – and moved to Houston to nourish his new career as a keynote speaker.

When asked, "Do you think you'll ever outrun the shadow of this event?" Dekkers immediately shot back: "Yeah. When I die."

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