Friday, January 08, 2016

08-Jan-16: Tel Aviv on high alert

It's Friday, early afternoon, and there's a serious terrorism alert in force in Israel's central metropolis.
Hundreds of police officers were deployed in Tel Aviv Friday, and inspection checkpoints were set up at several locations throughout the city after security forces decided to raise alert levels in the city. Although police stressed they had no indication of a terror threat in the region, the new directive signaled a possible development in the ongoing manhunt for a fugitive Arab Israeli suspected of killed two people in a Tel Aviv bar last Friday, before he went on to murder a cab driver whose taxi he hailed to make his escape. [Times of Israel, January 8, 2016]
According to Ynet,
Police stopped cars and requested drivers' IDs. Armed police officers were spotted on Dizengoff Street, not far from last week's attack, and near Dizengoff Center, among other places... [Ynet, January 8, 2016]
At the same time, the Arab village of Ar'ara, in Israel's north, is undergoing a major police operation. It's the town from where Nashat Milhem, believed to be the shooter in the murderous attack in central Tel Aviv exactly a week ago, came from. The general warnings in force say he remains armed, dangerous and capable of striking again. Ynet says police also converged on Kafr Qara in the Wadi Ara area this morning, checking vehicles leaving the town, and that a Wadi Ara resident was arrested.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the large police presence in the north today comes in the wake of
new intelligence information about a possible alternative escape route Tel Aviv shooting suspect Nashat Milhem may have taken. Meanwhile, police forces erected checkpoints around the Sharon region, including along a number of the areas on main roads... On Thursday, the Haifa Magistrate's Court extended by three days the police custody of [Nashat] Milhem's father, Muhammed. Police arrested  Muhammad Milhem on Tuesday on suspicion of being an accomplice to the attack that left two Israelis dead. In addition to the father who had served as a police volunteer and initially identified his son to police, the court also extended the remand of a brother and another relative of the suspected gunman.

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