2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 18, 2002
El-Al hijacking attempt foiled
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) -
Security guards on Israel's national
airline El Al overpowered a man
who tried to hijack a flight from Tel
Aviv to Istanbul yesterday.
None of the 170 passengers on
board the Boeing 757 was harmed and
the plane landed safely, said Oktay
Cakirlar, an official at Istanbul's
Ataturk International Airport.
The semi-offficial Anatolia news
agency identified the hijacker as
Tawfiq Fukra, a 23-year-old Arab
with an Israeli passport.
Cakirlar said El Al Flight 581 sent
out a hijacking signal as it approached
Istanbul but the suspect was overcome.
"No one was injured," Cakirlar told
The Associated Press by telephone.
"The terrorist is in custody at the
police station at the airport."
Turkey's private CNN-Turk and NTV
televisions quoted police sources as say-
ing that the alleged hijacker was an
Israeli Arab and was armed with a knife.
The television reports said the
man was overpowered by two Israeli
security guards aboard the plane.
He reportedly first threatened a
flight attendant with a knife and
tried to approach the cockpit but he
was overpowered by two security
guards, one posing as a passenger,
CNN-Turk television said.
"We heard people saying there was
fighting and half a minute later it
became clear that from row five or six
a man ran amok toward the pilot's
cabin, attacked a stewardess and tried
to enter the cockpit," an Israeli passen-
ger on the plane told Israel army radio.
"We saw a stewardess running like
crazy from the front of the place to the
business section ... She was terrified,"
said the passenger, Menachen Binet.
Security guards "threw him to the
floor with his legs spread and his face to
the floor. The passengers were hysteri-
cal but the flight attendants were very
cool, they calmed us down," he said.
At the airport, passengers could
be seen going through security
checks, where they were frisked,
and passport control.
El Al is widely regarded as the
world's most protected airline, but
also one of the most threatened.
From the late 1960s into the 1980s,
El Al planes and passengers were
subjected to shooting attacks,
hijacking and bombing attempts.
El Al's formidable security includes
armed guards at check-in, on-board
marshals and extensive searches of lug-
gage. Passengers re told to arrive three
hours ahead of flights to allow enough
time for the security checks.
On the Fourth of July, an Egyptian
immigrant, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet,
opened fire at the El Al ticket counter at
Los Angeles Airport, killing two people
before he was shot dead by an airline
security guard. Nothing was found to
link the incident to terrorist groups and
the motive remained unknown.
Hadayet, however, had previously
told U.S. authorities that he was false-
ly accused of being in a militant
Egyptian group that the United States
now lists as a terror group.
Inspectors anticipate Saddam's response
The chief U.N. weapons inspector landed in Cyprus yesterday to assemble
his team for a return to Baghdad and said the "question of war and peace"
awaits an answer from Saddam Hussein.
President Bush has warned that Saddam faces military action if he fails to coop-
erate fully with the inspectors, who will fly to Iraq today. Saddam faces a three-
week deadline to reveal weapons of mass destruction or provide convincing
evidence he no longer has any.
Chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, overseeing the Interna-
tional Atomic Energy Agency's search for nuclear arms, flew to Cyprus from Vienna,
Austria. They joined about two dozen other members of the advance team assem-
bling here to prepare for a resumption of inspections after a nearly four-year absence.
"The question of war and peace remains first of all in the hands of Iraq, the
Security Council and the members of the Security Council," Blix said.
Blix, who will lead the overall mission, said his team was prepared to meet
the challenge of ensuring Iraqi compliance. But he said he hoped Iraq would
not try to hide anything. The 74-year-old Swedish diplomat said inspectors
would be taking along much more sophisticated equipment than was available
when the inspection program was suspended in December 1998.
Iraq possesses chemical weapons knowledge
Iraqi scientists know how to make chemical weapons that can penetrate mili-
tary protective clothing, and Iraq imported up to 25 metric tons last month of a
powder that is a crucial ingredient to such "dusty" weapons.
Iraq told the United Nations the powder was destined for a pharmaceutical compa-
ny that a former weapons rispector says was ordered by President Saddam Hussein
before the 1991 Persian Gulf War to work on chemical and biological weapons.
The powder, sold under the brand name Aerosil, has particles so small that, when
coated with deadly poisons, they can pass through the tiniest gaps in protective suits.
Experts inside and outside the U.S. government say they are not certain
Iraq has dusty chemical weapons. Declassified U.S. intelligence documents
say Iraq produced a dusty form of the blister agent mustard in the 1980s
and used it during its eight-year war with Iran.
If Iraq made and used a powdered form of its deadliest nerve agent, VX, it
could kill U.S. troops dressed in full protective gear, according to a 1990 Defense
Intelligence Agency assessment. Although the military's protective suits have been
improved since then, experts say dusty weapons could penetrate the new suits.
Israel reponds after
weekend Hebron attack
HEBRON, West Bank (AP) - Israel's mili-
tary appealed to Jewish settler leaders Saturday
to restrain vigilantes after an ambush by Islam-
ic militants in a dead-end alley left 12 Israelis
dead and 14 others wounded.
Troops backed by 10 tanks retook control of
the divided city Saturday - blindfolding 43
Palestinian suspects and herding them into army
buses - as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon faced
growing pressure to strike back hard for what
Israel calls a "Sabbath massacre."
Two Palestinians were killed Saturday by
army fire in the West Bank.
An army commander, Col. Noam Tibon, said
there was concern that Jewish settlers from Hebron
and the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba would
strike back once the Sabbath ended at sundown Sat-
urday. "This is a huge problem. We will do whatev-
er we can to bring law and order," Tibon said.
Settlers in Hebron and Kiryat Arba have a history
of vigilantism against Palestinians, and Tibon met
with settler leaders Saturday to urge restraint. How-
ever, settlers refused to call off a protest rally sched-
uled at the ambush site after sundown Saturday.
Israel's retaliation was expected to focus on
Hebron itself, and a Sharon adviser said there
was no current plan to expel Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat - as has been demanded by sev-
eral Cabinet members, including Foreign Minis-
ter Benjamin Netanyahu.
Friday night's ambush brought caused ten-
sions in Hebron - home to 130,000 Palestini-
ans and 450 Jewish settlers - to soar.
The attack began after Jewish worshippers,
escorted by soldiers, finished Sabbath prayers at the
Tomb of the Patriarchs and were walking back to
their settlement of Kiryat Arba, about a half mile
away. The downtown Hebron shrine is revered by
Muslims and Jews as the traditional burial place of
the biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Moments after soldiers were told the worship-
pers were escorted safely, shots burst from an
olive grove and nearby Palestinian homes.
An army jeep chased the gunmen into a dead-
end alley and was fired on from all directions,
Tibon said. Four soldiers were killed.
Reinforcements also were shot and killed. They
included the Hebron brigade commander, Col. Dror
Weinberg, the highest-ranking Israeli officer shot
dead in more than two years of Mideast violence.
Mourners gather around the coffins of three
Jewish settlers who were killed late Friday i
southern West Bank town of Hebron during t
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WASHINGTON (AP) - With the
Senate set to approve the agency he's
expected to lead, President Bush's
homeland security adviser played
down as "really nothing new" an
alleged al-Qaida threat of attacks in
New York and Washington yesterday.
Tom Ridge also said he doubted the
Bush administration would create an
agency separate from the FBI to gather
domestic intelligence. Several senators
said the White House should not pursue
that idea without congressional input.
Ridge declined to discuss whether he
wants to become secretary of the
Department of Homeland Security. A
senior administration official confirmed
Sunday that Ridge, a former Pennsylva-
nia governor and close friend of Bush,
is the president's choice for the job.
Appearing on three morning talk
shows yesterday, Ridge tried to mini-
mize the alleged al-Qaida threat.
"We're familiar with that piece of
information. There are no new
threats. There are the same old con-
ditions," Ridge told "Fox News Sun-
day." "It's just part of the continuing
threat environment that we assess.
It's really nothing new."
A correspondent for the Arab
satellite TV station Al-Jazeera told
The Associated Press he received an
unsigned, six-page document on
Wednesday, a day after the station
broadcast an audiotape believed
made by al-Qaida leader Osama bin
The United States and other govern-
ments blame bin Laden and his al-
Qaida terrorist network for the attacks
that destroyed the World Trade Center
in New York and damaged the Penta-
gon in Washington, killing more than
3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001.
While the correspondent says he is
certain the statement came from al-
Qaida's leadership, Ridge said the
administration was unsure of its
source, but recognizes that the United
States is a primary target.
"The war on terrorism has come
to our shores. We have to deal with
it," he said.
Ridge said a recent visit he made to
M15, the British domestic intelligence
agency, was "very revealing," but
added that he thought it was unlikely
DURHAM, N. H.
Even Saddam Hussein gets spam.
He also gets e-mail purporting to
be from U.S. companies offering
business deals, and threats, accord-
ing to a journalist who figured out a
way into an Iraqi government e-mail
account and downloaded more than
Brian McWilliams, a free-lancer
who specializes in Internet security,
says he hardly needed high-level
hacking skills to snoop through e-
mail addressed to Saddam.
While doing research late one Octo-
ber night, the Durham resident clicked
on the official Iraqi government web-
The site, which worked last week
but was off line yesterday, included
links that allow visitors to, send e-
mail to Saddam and allowed users of
the government-controlled site,
which is hosted in Dubai, to check
their own accounts.
Doctors grant new
life to extinct heart
Doctors testing a new treatment for
heart attacks said yesterday they have
restored life to seemingly dead heart mus-
cle by seeding it with cells borrowed from
patients' own thigh muscles or bones.
The idea is to find an alternative to
transplants for people whose hearts are
so damaged that they fail to pump blood
forcefully enough. This condition, called
heart failure, is a growing health prob-
lem that afflicts an estimated 5 million
people in the United States alone.
Two years ago, a French doctors
described a novel alternative: He put
millions of immature skeletal muscle
cells into the badly damaged heart of a
72-year-old man. His heart began to
pump more powerfully, although it was
unclear whether the benefit came from
the new cells or from coronary bypass
surgery he received at the same time.
diplomat dies at 87
Abba Eban, the famously eloquent
statesman who helpedpersuade the
world to approve creation of the Jew-
ish state and dominated Israeli diplo-
macy for decades, died yesterday,
hospital officials said. He was 87.
Eban was known for his dovish views
about Israel-Arab relations. Yitzhak Her-
zog, a nephew who served as Israeli Cab-
inet secretary, said Eban "was a
pragmatist who believed in pragmatism
on the one hand and the need to talk and
talk and talk, and on the other hand, to
stand firm on the basic principles of
Israeli defense and foreign affairs."
Born in South Africa on Feb. 2,
1915, Eban grew up in England,
attaining honors at Cambridge Uni-
versity, where he honed his oratory
as a leader of the Cambridge Union.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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