Terror-Fighting Flight Instructors Cut Out of Reward

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Two former Pan Am International Flight Academy instructors who say they alerted the FBI to the strange demeanor of convicted 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui when he was a student at the school are upset that one of their colleagues was paid $5 million under the "Rewards for Justice" program and they received nothing. According to The Associated Press, Tim Nelson and Pat Sims both phoned the FBI independently when Moussaoui signed up for advanced jet training when he was clearly unfit for the course. Instead, the money went to Moussaoui's instructor Clarence Prevost, who said he was suspicious of his student but didn't actually make the call.

It was, however, Prevost who was interviewed by the FBI and subsequently testified at Moussaoui's trial. "He was certainly there but he didn't call the FBI. I have no idea why he received the reward," Sims told the AP. The pair were recognized by the Senate in 2005 in a resolution that commended their heroism and bravery. During the 2006 trial, Moussaoui confessed to being the "20th hijacker" whose role was to command the hijacking of a fifth airliner to be flown into the White House. He later recanted the confession but was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in planning the attacks.