José Meléndez-Pérez prepared testimony for the 9/11 Commission. This is his only official statement about his heroic actions. You can read the text here.
The Missing 9/11 Terrorist
The Power of Everyday Heroes
This is the story of the missing 20th 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed al Qahtani, and the customs agent, Jose Melendez-Perez, a Vietnam veteran who stopped the would-be jihadist from entering the U.S. at Orlando International Airport in August, 2001. Melendez's actions most likely saved the target of Flight 93, and, in a strange twist of fate that many people don't know, ultimately led to the death of Osama Bin Laden. The 20th Hijacker is another story reflecting the heroism of average American citizens who act on their own intuition.
Here is a video of author Michael Smerconish interviewing José Meléndez-Pérez during a fill-in appearance on MSNBC. Melendez tells the story of that fateful day at the airport that forms the basis of our story in the book.