So how was this scary L.A. plot really stopped?
A Malaysian recruited by al-Qaida to pilot a plane in a second wave of Sept. 11-style attacks on the United States pulled out after observing the carnage of the first assaults, Southeast Asian officials said Friday.
... security officials and terrorism experts in Southeast Asia on Friday said Malaysian engineer Zaini Zakaria was among three men al-Qaida was preparing to take part in an attack on the U.S. West coast.
... Zaini enrolled in a flight school and obtained a license to fly a small plane. He then began making inquiries in Australia about getting a license to fly a jet, the official said.
But Zaini was never told what his mission for al-Qaida would be. When he saw media coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks, he severed his ties with the militants.
Zaini ... told Malaysian interrogators that he "didn't want that kind of Jihad," an official familiar with the interrogation told the AP.
A senior police officer involved in the interrogation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Zaini told his Malaysian interrogators "he was not prepared to die as a martyr, so he backed out." ...
So first the pilot backed out. Then Richard Reid was stopped by crew and passengers on his flight, which alerted U.S. authorities to the risk of shoe bombing. And then the Mighty Bushies broke up the plot.