Friday, March 24, 2006

Able danger..... was nicknamed "the little terrorist"

The office manager of a flight school was so unnerved by September 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta that she nicknamed him "the little terrorist" months before the deadly attacks.

Susan Hall, the former office manager of Huffman Aviation in Venice, Florida, disclosed her nickname for Atta during testimony on Tuesday at the sentencing trial of September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.

Atta was the presumed ringleader of the airliner hijackings that killed almost 3,000 people.

He piloted the first airplane that was smashed into the World Trade Centre.

"I found Atta to be very cold and steely in his demeanour. Not friendly and pretty hateful," Hall said.

"I called him 'the little terrorist'," she said.

Asked why she had that nickname for Atta, Hall said: "He had that aura about him. I just didn't like the aura he gave off."

Hall said she used the nickname for Atta only with her co-workers but said she never expressed her reservations to the FBI or the Federal Aviation Administration.

Atta and another September 11 hijacker, Marwan al Shehhi, took flying lessons at Huffman beginning in the summer of 2000.

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