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January 25, 2008
A hero is rewarded
The federal government Thursday gave a $5 million reward to Clarence Prevost, the Minnesota flight instructor who first urged his bosses to contact the FBI about Zacarias Moussaoui. The prize was given under a State Department program that rewards citizens who give information that results in terror prosecutions or prevents attacks. Since its beginning, more than $77 million has been given to 50 different individuals.
Prevost, a retired commercial and military pilot, testified during the trial that he found Moussaoui's behavior strange, seeking training on 747 passenger jets with hardly any pilot experience.
And when Prevost asked about Moussaoui's religion, he answered "I am nothing." Prevost became even more concerned when he found out Moussaoui paid for the lessons in cash.
It wasn't Prevost's fault that people in our government didn't start to connect some dots and ferret out at least some of the 9/11 attack plan. For that failure of imagination, we paid dearly.