Alleged would-be El Al hijacker nabbed
The Shin Bet and the police’s International Serious Crimes Unit arrested on Wednesday Tawfik Fukara who allegedly tried hijacking an El Al plane in 2002, upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.
Fukara, a 26-year-old Israeli-Arab from the Galilee village of Bouina Nejidat, has been held up in Turkey ever since November 2002 when he allegedly tried hijacking an Istanbul-bound El Al flight with a pocket knife.
Following his arrest, Fukara was transferred to Turkish authorities for questioning and had admitted that he intended to hijack the plan and force the pilot to crash it into a building in Tel Aviv in a 9/11-like attack.
Fukara, who sat near the business-class section, repeatedly approached one of the flight attendants to ask for water. As the plane began its final approach to Istanbul, he stood up and ran toward the cockpit, slamming into the flight attendant.
He sat 14 months in a Turkish prison but was acquitted in his trial of attempted hijacking and recently received his passport and permission from local authorities to leave the country. Since last week, however, he has tried to purchase a plane ticket to Israel but no one is willing to fly him.
For the past few weeks, Fukara has tried purchasing an airplane ticket back to Israel but was repeatedly turned down with officials claiming he posed a threat to the airplane.