Israeli police have released a video of the arrest of two Israeli Arabs accused of terrorism after planning a terrorist attack on military and civilian targets of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. The attack was to take place in Jerusalem during the celebration of Independence Day.
The two arrested are 21-year-old Ahmed Jabbis and 19-year-old Basel Abidat from Jebel Mukaber in East Jerusalem. They were arrested in October on the basis of specific intelligence as part of a planned raid, writes the Jerusalem Post.
– On the night of 28 October 2019, a large number of border police officers carried out a coordinated raid on two houses at the same time in the village of Jebel Mukaber. It was a planned operation, we had information about where the suspects were, and as soon as the conditions were in place, we arrested them, says an undercover police officer who followed the operation.
The two suspects were put on trial in Jerusalem on Sunday 1 December. According to the indictment, the two have been active on IS-affiliated websites since 2016. On the websites, the terrorist group’s religious and political messages were spread, in addition to instructions on how to make bombs and carry out attacks.
In July, Abidat is said to have tried to reach the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt via Jordan to join an IS cell there. He was prevented from crossing the border by Jordanian security forces. Jabbis has reportedly collected about 2,800 Shekels, which he transferred to an intermediary who would pass the money on to IS.
In September, the suspects discussed whether to carry out an attack in Jerusalem or against an IDF base in the Jordan Valley. It is believed that the aim was to kill as many civilians or military as possible in connection with the terrorist attack.
The two have reportedly talked about acquiring automatic firearms and carrying out a shooting attack at Safar Square in Jerusalem, in addition to an attack during the celebration of Independence Day at the Sultan Dam in Jerusalem. The plan was to carry out an attack with knives if they could not get hold of firearms.
Although Israel has largely avoided being hit by IS attacks, several Israeli Arabs have been arrested on suspicion of links to IS. Several have wanted to carry out terrorist attacks on behalf of the Sunni Muslim extremist group.
-Israeli police and counter-terrorism units will continue to work to prevent any terrorist attack in Israel, police explain.
Dozens of Israeli Arabs have also been arrested after returning from Syria, where they have fought for IS. Israel fears that their experience from the battlefield in Syria will lead them to establish a terrorist network in Israel or carry out attacks there. It is believed that several of the Israeli Arabs who traveled to Syria to fight for IS were killed in hostilities.