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Man wanted to aim jet at building

An Israeli Arab wrestled to the floor outside the cockpit of an El Al flight Sunday night told investigators he hoped to crash the jet into a tall building in Tel Aviv in imitation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack against New York's World Trade Center, Turkish police said Monday.

Tawfiq Fukra, 23, told antiterrorism agents in Istanbul, where the plane landed safely, that he planned to use a penknife to hijack the Boeing 757 and single-handedly force it to crash into a building to protest Israel's actions against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, according to a statement released by the Istanbul police's antiterrorism unit.

Fukra said he had intended to commandeer the jetliner shortly after takeoff "in order to hit tall buildings in Tel Aviv" but lost his nerve, the police statement said. "He had been collecting information from Internet sites about how to fly a plane," it added.

Witnesses said Fukra appeared restless during the two-hour flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul, repeatedly visiting the restroom.

As El Al Flight 581 descended toward Ataturk International Airport, Fukra left his seat and walked through business class toward the cockpit. Police said he "threatened a stewardess" with a pocketknife he had hidden in his belt and demanded the cockpit door be opened. When the flight attendant screamed, the suspect tried to force the cockpit door before being subdued by two Israeli security agents and other passengers.

Fukra told his Turkish interrogators he was a student and had no links "to any organization," the police statement said. "He planned to realize the hijacking on his own inspired by the Sept. 11 attack in the U.S," according to the statement.

Fukra, who is of Palestinian origin and holds an Israeli passport, told Turkish police he knew no one in Turkey but booked a round-trip ticket to Istanbul because the tickets were cheap.

Land mine kills 20 aboard Indian bus

HYDERABAD, India _ A land mine exploded under a passenger bus Monday as it traveled through a dense forest in southern India, killing at least 20 people.

After the blast, about 125 miles north of Hyderabad, attackers opened fire on the flaming bus, apparently mistaking it for a police transport, said Gautam Swang, deputy inspector-general of the district police.

No police were aboard, said Swang. "The extremists have committed a ghastly mistake," he said.

Swang blamed the leftist People's War Group, which mostly targets rich landowners, police and government officials.

Hostage-taker at school in Spain is overpowered

HOSPITALET DE LLOBREGAT, Spain _ A teenager with a knife took his sister and 19 other children hostage at his former school and held them for hours Monday until a plainclothes officer overpowered him while delivering a pizza.

None of the students was hurt in the 3{-hour ordeal at the Casal de l'Angel school in this industrial town just south of Barcelona. All the hostages were 11 or 12 years old.

Government officials said the hostage-taker was 16 or 17 and had demanded a $1-million ransom because his family needed money.

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