Tuesday, April 26, 2016

26-Apr-16: A terror attack about which few people are likely to hear

Israeli security personnel at work in Jabel Mukaber after previous terror
attacks emanating from the neighbourhood, October 2015 [Image Source]
No victims were injured or killed. So a terror attack directed at civilians in the Israeli capital, Jerusalem, during one of its two busiest weeks for visitors in the year, is almost certain to go lightly reported if it has any impact at all on the global news cycle.

That's because it was stopped in time. And take a look (below) at who's involved.

The Times of Israel reported the developments in the past hour this way:
Three Palestinians from Nablus suspected of plotting a terrorist attack against Israelis were arrested overnight in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, the Shin Bet said Tuesday. The joint police and Shin Bet sting operation nabbed the three, who were allegedly planning a terror attack in Jerusalem over the Passover holiday. The Shin Bet said that the three had no weapons on their person at the time of their arrest, but “expressed the intention to carry out a terror attack in the immediate future.” The three were all residents of the West Bank city of Nablus, but were located in an East Jerusalem apartment at the time of their arrest. It was not immediately clear if they were simply passing through the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood or had been illegally living there for some time. “The three were arrested and handed over to security forces for questioning,” the Shin Bet said in a statement. The suspects reportedly did not have an arrest record nor were they known members of a terrorist organization... Police have beefed up security around Jerusalem’s Old City and on the Temple Mount in a bid to prevent disturbances at the flashpoint sites during Passover, when thousands of Jewish and foreign tourists visit.
(For more on the malign influence of the Jabel Mukaber neighbourhood in south-eastern Jerusalem, see our post from two days ago focusing on one small aspect of the lethal evil emanating from there: "24-Apr-16: Weaponizing children: Here's one way it's done in Jerusalem").

The Jerusalem Post adds several chilling details:
The three detainees have been transferred to the custody of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) for further questioning... Two of the suspects are minors – age 15 and 16 – and the other is a 23-year-old man. The three Palestinians were detained after the security forces obtained a tip indicating that an attack was imminent. The authorities say that the Palestinians planned on committing a combined assault against civilians involving an explosive device as well as gunfire. The attack was said to have been planned for the Passover holiday and was to be executed in a crowded area. The explosive device was slated to be provided by an unidentified co-conspirator and the weapon to be used for firing at civilians was an improvised assault rifle built in one of the Palestinian makeshift factories. After their arrest, the three Palestinians confessed to the plot, according to security services. The suspects said that they were inspired by last week’s bombing of a bus in Jerusalem which left 19 people wounded and one person – the bomber – dead.
(About that "inspirational" bombing, we posted this: "21-Apr-16: The Hamas jihadists claim the Jerusalem bus bombing as one of their own".)

Though armed attacks were thwarted this time, no one in this part of the world is under any illusions about the ongoing threats being blunted or even slowed down. We also don't yet know who else is involved - and there are always plenty of additional people involved when complex plots of this nature get uncovered and, thankfully, stopped before serious violence is done.

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