Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency claims planned suicide attack shows al-Qa’ida is taking root in Palestine
Hamas Islamists governing Gaza reject the account as 'silly fabrications', saying it was an attempt to justify Israeli military strikes in the territory
Wednesday 22 January 2014
Israel says it has arrested two Palestinians from East Jerusalem who were planning to carry out attacks for al-Qa’ida with the help of foreign suicide bombers posing as Russian tourists.
The men were recruited by another al-Qa’ida agent in the Gaza Strip, said Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency – the second Israeli report in as many months suggesting the militant network was taking root among Palestinians.
Hamas Islamists governing Gaza rejected the spy agency’s account as “silly fabrications”, saying it was an attempt to justify Israeli military strikes in the territory.
Security experts say al-Qa’ida and its global agenda have for a long time had only a only fringe appeal among Palestinians as they pursue a more nationalist conflict with the Jewish state.
The two Palestinians, who could travel freely in Israel because of their Jerusalem residency, were recruited over Facebook and Skype, Shin Bet said in a statement, which appeared to be based on confessions by the detainees.
It did not say if they had lawyers or how they might plead in open court. Civil rights groups have often accused Shin Bet of duress against terrorism suspects.
According to the agency, the Palestinians planned to provide bomb vests to foreign militants posing as Russian tourists for attacks on an Israeli convention centre in Jerusalem and the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.
The detainees were further accused of planning to kidnap a soldier and shoot at an Israeli bus in the occupied West Bank. One of the men was arrested as he prepared to travel to Syria, via Turkey, to undergo weapons training, Shin Bet said. Israel captured East Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza, in the 1967 war. It annexed East Jerusalem as its capital – a move not recognised abroad – and says it may cede West Bank territory to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. It quit Gaza in 2005, leading to Hamas’s rise there.
Shin Bet said that a third Palestinian, from the city of Jenin, was in custody on suspicion of planning to set up an al-Qa’ida cell.
Earlier, an Israeli air strike killed a militant from the Palestinian faction Islamic Jihad blamed for a cross-border rocket salvo last week.
Scientists discover way to unboil an egg – and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 5 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This web-based lead generation ...
£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...