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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
'I flew with a terrorist'
Anne Greaves in a training plane in Florida
Anne Greaves: "He had a cold steeliness about him"
A British woman who learned to fly with suspected terrorist Mohammad Atta is helping the FBI in its investigation into the terrorist attacks on the US.

Anne Greaves, from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, spent six months at a flying school in Florida with Atta.

She told the BBC he was "fixated" with a "cold steely determination".

Mrs Greaves said Atta showed no sign of emotion throughout the six months she trained with him and at times appeared to be in a trance.

I was very distraught knowing I was so close to people like them

Anne Greaves
The 56-year-old former osteopath attended the Huffman Aviation School in Florida just over a year ago to fulfil her lifetime ambiton of learning to how to fly.

"I was told by my instructor that he was an Arab prince and his companion was his bodyguard. But I didn't believe it," she said.

She thought if he was royalty he would be training at a military establishment.

"I noticed his determination. He had a cold steeliness about him. Sadly, that did not tie in with love of aviation or anything like it.

"He was fixated on achieving something but without the pride and pleasure of doing something you enjoy."

Working with FBI

Mrs Greaves said she had daily contact with Atta as they trained in their Piper Cherokee Warrior.

"I never saw them talking to anybody. They kept very much to themselves.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Scotland Yard have both talked to Mrs Greaves already about her encounter.

She is apparently helping them to try to establish psychological profiles of the terrorists who carried out the attack on the World Trade Center.

She said she felt utter disbelief when she found she had been training amongst terrorists.

"I was very distraught knowing I was so close to people like them."

Ann Greaves on BBC Radio 4's Today programme
"He had a cold steeliness about him."
See also:

21 Sep 01 | Americas
FBI probes hijackers' identities
18 Sep 01 | Middle East
Suspect's father defends son
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