I have posted two stories about Zayead Christopher Hajaig: “Weapons Belonging to Terror Suspect Found” and “Atlanta: Alert issued for ex-flight school student.” I have just received a statement from a man who says he is Mr. Hajaig himself, disputing the allegations in those stories. As I am only interested in publishing the truth at this site, here is his statement in its entirety, exactly as I received it:
Dear readers .
The following statement is an effort to dispel the many lies and false allegations stemmed by various media entities. This is also a clear effort on my part to reach out and touch the humane minds amongst you . I have since the unset of all this palaver maintained my innocence and my absolute support of the authorities regardless of the unfavorable outcome and my present predicament. IN PLAIN ENGLISH I AM NOT A TERRORIST. hence I have high regards towards humanity and protectors of the said same.
I will start by thanking the proprietors of this web site for printing my side of the story, I am grateful for that level of tolerance. in lieu of what has happened I am going to endeavor to stick to the bare facts, and avoid emotional confluence. The following information I am providing can be confirmed and checked by simple credit/background checks . I have nothing to hide .
There has been many a story printed by various editors, authors and media wells. They all seem to agree on some grounded assertions false and inaccurate as they may be. these facts stem supposedly from the various investigation branches in the states . Some how I do not think so, as a lot of the outlined allegations are false . and I know for a fact the authorities would not risk the reputation and credibility of the agencies they represent . call me naive or an idiot ,but the information i am wiling to provide is mere public record i.e.; any one can dispute, refute or reinforce the many statement rendered about me . I will leave the “read between the lines” motion to the readers. i.e.; you be the judge.
First it has been painted to the masses that i am a terrorist pilot trainee AND A STUDENT PILOT FOR THAT MATTER. Fact is i am not a student pilot ,and obviously NOT A TERRORIST . I am a LEGAL FAA LICENSED PILOT . MY CREDENTIALS ARE AS FOLLOW ,I AM A PRIVATE PILOT MULTI ENGINE INSTRUMENT LICENSE HOLDER . WHAT DO I MEAN BY NOT BEING A STUDENT?? . WELL I STOPPED BEING A STUDENT IN 99 WHEN I GOT MY PRIVATE PILOT SINGLE ENGINE LAND LICENSE , FOLLOWED BY MY INSTRUMENT RATING IN 2000 AND THEN MY MULTI ENGINE COMPLEX HIGH PERFORMANCE WITH AND INSTRUMENT ENDORSEMENTS IN 2002. SO THERE YOU HAVE IT I AM A QUALIFIED WELL TRAINED PILOT AND I HAVE MANAGED LOG THE BETTER PART OF 700 HOURS PLUS TOWARDS MY FLYING CAREER AND TRAINED BY THE BEST SCHOOLS IN GEORGIA ASTRON AVIATION, PDK FLIGHT ACADEMY ,WINGS AND THINGS ETC… I have been working on my aviation career since 1992 and it has been a life time engagement . I had planed to be an Airline pilot and was working on my upgrade to a commercial license since 2002 and due to financial hardship fell short of completing the check ride. I had completed my commercial written examination and passed them twice ,the first time was in 2002 and second time was in 2005 . I have also completed my ground instructor written exams and passed those too. Accordingly my plan was to become a flight instructor and teach for a While amassing the hours needed for the coveted airline pilot position . A familiar traverse to every aspiring pilot out there.
What is meant by LEGAL FAA LICENSED pilot. well the FAA required a certain set of documents and pre qualification measures which where all met according to the generally published PTS. ( practical test standards) i.e.; PICTURE ID , SIGNED APPLICATION FORMS ,TEST RESULTS, ETC… that was my passport and drivers license also I presented my application forms signed by instructors and log book endorsements in addition i provided my social security card numbers etc.. all the following documents are legal documents issued to me by the various agencies in the USA upon entering the united states as a legal immigrant in 1991/92 ( this is normal ). SO IN SHORT THE ASSERTION OF ME TRAINING ILLEGALLY IS INACCURATE AND FALSE. recently the TSA (a fairly new body of government) included pilot back ground checks and verification, this is as recent as 2004. So for the assertion that the FAA still allows middle eastern pilots to fly without checks post 9/11 is wrong and inaccurate and prejudice. As in any government body legislative matters take time to bare so its not the willy Nelly picture the media might have led you into. In fact aviation today in America is the most scrutinized form of travel ,commerce or profession ..i.e.; the net result is the overkill efforts you are witnessing in my case . that’s how much scrutiny had come to bare on the industry. I must admit even though i am on the receiving end of all this exaggerative policing i am grateful for the sense of safety it promotes.
FOLLOWING ON… the media seem to paint me as broke with out a verifiable source of income ,..i.e. a sponsored terrorist .. the fact is I have always worked in the USA and paid my taxes and in lieu of that I had credit cards and loans . please do the research you will find i worked for a cafe chain at Hartsfield Airport Atlanta(coffee klatch) from 91 to 01 . I was a general manager there . Post that I worked for another cafe chain (Seattle’s best coffee )02-03 again as a manager and recently I was an optical retail manager working for Pearle vision . fact is this is how I sponsored my flight training by working and paying my taxes and contributing to the American economy by investing in a career that has cost me the better part of 62000.00 dollars since 1991, yes mates a lot of money paid in to American flight training schools . my total savings in every way went in to my career. so for the media ,feds or whom ever out there claiming that I am a financed terrorist well , run a BACK GROUND CHECK AND CREDIT/Tax check mates you will find the truth my social security card number is 252839765. or call the above listed jobs. last job was Pearle vision in Atlanta Hammond drive.
As for the Guns….my understanding is that the indictment is on three counts of assault rifles !?? . accordingly I am not the owner of the said rifles . nor was I in custody of all said rifles at that point . two of the said rifles where at the owners rightful address independent of my address .(I will not name this person as it not fair on them). but what i will say is that the paper work of said rifles are in his name and the address was his address. as for the third rifle ,that belonged to another mate at work and he had me do some cleaning on it . I believe he might have stepped forward to claim it , and as for the river ..well they claim they found a hand gun in the river ,..how come the indictment is on three rifles but not a hand gun ??? ..I believe the person it belonged to stepped up and fessed up. Yes I did throw the said weapon in to the river before i left . and that was the best I could do with it while in a hurry. better than it getting in to the wrong hands. SO FOR THE MEDIA TO PORTRAY ME AS STORING A WEAPONS CACHE AT MY BEHEST. Well mates you read between the lines.
Dear readers .. I could go on for ever mates but in short i am just a normal Joe after a normal life. I AM ONLY GUILTY BY MY ADMISSION OF OVERSTAYING MY VISA. This I believe to have been a navigable matter with the aid of a lawyer in years to follow. but some how ,I got rattled to return home in a hurry . i was afraid of the injustice served to any one in violation of the new DHS rules post 9/11( especially when not a citizen) all I could think of was guantanamo bay. I was afraid of what has come to bare , I was afraid of the overkill policing that will have resulted from my being an over stayer and a pilot also of what will appear to the layman as an Arab pilot. Fact is I feared an immigration deportation hence I ran in a hurry . and more important I did not know of the feds interest in me until I had returned to the UK, after I had contacted them as I was told to do so by my room mate upon the request of the feds. since they had been around to canvass the address. WHAT I KNEW OFF WAS AN IMMIGRATION INTEREST NOT A SECURITY INTEREST ACCORDINGLY.
And finally about me and my nationality. Well I am British born in west Africa , my father is British too .my great grand parents are of Armenian decent exiled to Lebanon earlier in the last century. my religion is Christianity. yes I am a Christian.. I moved to the UK earlier in my youth and in 91 or so I started to visit the USA. I had always wanted to be a pilot and my love for aviation started when I was a child ,all my toys are planes all my books are airplane books and all my posters are about aviation . so there you go , I am just a normal passionate aviator. Now ask your self how did the present situation come to bare folks???.. I think its the world post 9/11 and the paranoia inherent in the minds and politics of today”s society. but must we allow that to unfold unchecked and uncorrected. Yes its true the end result is primarily my fault . if I had kept up with my visa this will not have occurred ,or if 9/11 never happened well paranoia will not rule the day.. fellow readers what I am trying to say is the American authorities have stopped my career dead in its tracks my life is worthless with out my career and now that’s all in ruins . as a human being I must have some in pliable rights and thus rights are inherent in the constitution of the great USA . but some how I am on the receiving end of overkill POLICING AND JUSTICE …..THE RIGHTFUL COURSE OF ACTION WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE THAT IS REFLECTIVE OF THE VIOLATION COMMITTED I.E AN IMMIGRATION VIOLATION , I.E A FINE PER SAY, AN IMMIGRATION HEARING AND PROCESSING , AND LAST AT WORST A DEPORTATION. NOT WORLD LABELING AS A TERRORIST, INTERNATIONAL MAN HUNTS , AND INDICTMENTS WITH OUT BEING PRESENT TO ANSWER OR RENDER EXPLANATION. NOT STOPPING MY CAREER IN ITS TRACK AND BARING ME FROM FLYING BY SUSPENDING MY LICENSES ETC..ETC…ETC….AND THE PUNISHMENTS CONTINUE. Think to your selves how this has affected my life , families life and future . imagine you wake up one sunday morning and the whole world now knows you as a terrorist. My reputation is marred for life folks my career is ruined and my liberty at stake….is this justice.???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Zayead Christopher Hajaig