Israel’s security agency revealed that the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and the Jerusalem Convention Center were among targets al-Qaida-linked group planned to attack.
Israel’s Shin Bet security agency revealed on Wednesday that it had arrested a terrorist unit that planned to blow up the Jerusalem convention center and the US embassy in Tel Aviv.
According to the Shin Bet’s statement, the three terrorists who were arrested belong to a Gaza based terror group that is linked to al-Qaida and the attacks themselves were planned by the global terror group’s leader Ayman al-Zawahri.
The statement said that al-Qaida planned to recruit five suicide bombers who would have arrived to Israel posing as tourists, using fake Russian passports. The men were meant to be equipped with suicide vests and a bomb-rigged truck and carry out the two-pronged attack at the same time.
The unit had also planned to carry out a shooting attack against a Jerusalem area bus and kidnap Israeli soldiers.
According to the statement, the unit’s leader Iyad Abu Sara from East Jerusalem, was set to depart for Syria, via Turkey to learn bomb-making skills. The other two unit members arrested hailed from the West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin.
“We didn’t have the luxury of waiting for the network to go from the planning stage to producing an explosives-rigged truck, so we decided to arrest them a month ago,” a senior Shin Bet official said. “The terrorists were full of hate towards Israel and Jews.”
“The Gaza Strip has become a terror base for al-Qaida, while in the West Bank the group’s activities are still in early phases and can be stopped,” said the official.
The Shin Bet said it notified its American and Russian counterparts of the details.
Charges against the three are set to be filed shortly.
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