Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Three Arab residents of East Jerusalem were recently indicted for planning terrorist attacks for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Exploiting their freedom of movement in Israel, they were part of a plan to carry out a suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem. 1 1. On November 1, 2007, an indictment was filed by the Jerusalem district attorney's office against three residents of East Jerusalem who had been detained by the Israeli security forces at the end of 2006. Two were Mamoun Abu Tir , 19, and Atallah Abu Tir, 20, both residents of Um Tuba in southeast Jerusalem . The third was Sayid Amira , 20, a resident of Sur Baher in south Jerusalem .2. According to the indictment, the three were planning terrorist attacks. Through the Internet , Mamoun Abu Tir became acquainted with an individual who represented himself as a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative and promised to put the cell in contact with PIJ operatives in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria . He also used the Internet to send them instructions for manufacturing explosives.3. A short time later Mamoun Abu Tir was contacted by a Gaza Strip terrorist operative nicknamed Abu Haritha . Initially, the two examined the feasibility of assassinating important Jewish figures, among them the mayor of Jerusalem . Abu Haritha also examined the possibility of sending a suicide bomber from Hebron to Beersheba to carry out an attack. According to the indictment, the two, accompanied by newly-recruited Hamas activist Sayid Amira , examined other possible modes of attack, including shooting at the Israeli security forces near the Mugrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem or using explosives.4. They eventually decided on a suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem and began making plans . Mamoun Abu Tir toured Jerusalem to locate suitable targets for the attack. Abu Haritha even asked him to be ready to go to Jenin (a PIJ stronghold referred to as the “suicide bomber capital”) to pick up his “present,” that is, an explosive belt or suicide bomber, which he was supposed to escort through the security fence.5. It was not the first time East Jerusalem Arabs were involved in terrorist attacks in Israel . East Jerusalem Arabs carry blue Israeli identity cards which makes them a priority target for enlistment in terrorist organizations. They are familiar with Israel 's geography and can easily escort terrorist squads to the sites of attacks (including suicide bombing attacks). 2 It should be remembered that during the worst wave of suicide bombing attacks (2002-2003), the Palestinian terrorist organizations made wide use of the services of the Arab residents of East Jerusalem , who were involved in some of the most deadly suicide bombing attacks. 1 According to the indictment handed down by the Jerusalem district attorney. 2 For further information, see our August 15, 2007 Bulletin entitled “Following a shooting attack at a roadblock southeast of Jerusalem in May 2007 Israeli security forces detained Hamas operatives and arms dealers from Jabal Mukabir”

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