Israeli Arab & 2 Palestinians detained at road block in Sharon region.
Israeli Arab suspected of purchasing weapons on behalf of cell also nabbed.
The Shin Bet and Israel Police last month uncovered an Islamic Jihad cell suspected of plotting to kidnap an Israeli soldier or civilian, it emerged on Sunday after a gag order on the case was lifted.
Three of the suspects – Tawfiq Agbariya and Said Jassr of the West Bank city of Jenin, and Yusef Warda of Tira – were detained just after midnight on New Year’s Eve at the Eyal Junction, a checkpoint in the Sharon region of Israel, based on an intelligence tip.
Detectives from a special police unit found in the suspects’ car a number of items allegedly designated for use in abduction: a ski cap, handcuffs, duct tape, a toy gun, and a utility knife.
A Shin Bet investigation revealed that the three intended to smuggle their abductee into Jenin to be used as bait for the release of Palestinian security prisoners jailed in Israel.
The suspects confessed to having scoured local hitchhiking stations in the days prior, with the intention of finding a soldier to kidnap. The operation was apparently organized and funded by an Islamic Jihad man in Jenin named Majbdi, the brother of one of the two Palestinian suspects arrested that night.
Another Israeli Arab, Anas Jabarin from Umm al-Fahm, was also allegedly aware of the plot, and is suspected of providing the cell with weapons and lodging.
Jabrin and Warda will be indicted later Sunday on suspicion of making contact with a foreign agent and terror group, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Jabrin will also be charged for weapons violations.
Eight other Palestinians from Jenin have also been arrested for allegedly knowing of the abduction plot.
The defense establishment learned of the cell’s existence after hearing of a different plot to kidnap a soldier, which turned out to be false. It was during the investigation of that erroneous report, which included the stationing of troops at roadblocks, that details of this case came to light.
View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/shin-bet-nabs-islamic-jihad-cell-plotting-to-kidnap-israelis-1.501107