Asalam Abdelqader Khalil Atrash
Photo: Israel Police
Ibrahim Suheel Mahmoud Akatilat
Photo: Israel Police
Shadi Ali Fuad Ibrahim
Photo: Israel Police
Mahdi Khaled Saadi Maslaha
Photo: Israel Police
Ismail Ibrahim Amin Akatilat
Photo: Israel Police

5 Israeli-Arabs arrested for plotting terror attacks

Joint Shin Bet, police operation uncovers homegrown terror cell in Lower Galilee. The five reportedly planned series of attacks on police stations, abduction of security servicemen. Cell nabbed before attacks were executed

Cleared for publication: Shin Bet and Northern Police Districts officers arrested five Israeli Arabs who reside in northern Israel for allegedly planning a series of terror attacks in Israel, including attacks on police stations and the abduction of policemen and soldiers.


The cell was nabbed before any of the planned attacks were executed.


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According the details revealed as part of the indictment filed against the five on Thursday, the cell's members – who reside in the Lower Galilee Arab village of Daburiyya, east of Nazareth, were arrested in the past month.


According to the case file, the five planned an attack against their local police station, and sought to assault both a soldier and a Border Guard officer who reside in their village, in order to steal their weapons.


The police believe the cell's ringleader was Asalam Abdelqader Khalil Atrash (24), a student at Haifa University. Other cell members included Shadi Ali Fuad Ibrahim (19), a student at the Israel Institute of Technology, Mahdi Khaled Saadi Maslaha (21), Ibrahim Suheel Mahmoud Akatilat (20) and Ismail Ibrahim Amin Akatilat – both of whom are from Daburiyya.


The five reportedly admitted that they learned how to make and use explosives and firearms from online videos. One of the suspects was found in possession of electrical circuitry blueprints, often used in explosive devices. He admitted to downloading them ahead of building a bomb.


The five also admitted that they had already "selected" their intended victims among members of the security forces who live in their area. Their arrest foiled the plan.


The police believe the five began setting in place the necessary mechanisms needed to finance their terror activities. One of the suspects admitted that he had applied for a job at a government office, with the intent to use it – should he be hired – in order to carry out a terror attack on the premises.


The indictment filed against the five includes terror affiliation offences, conspiracy to commit a crime and a slew of weapon offenses.


'Case very disturbing'

Police Major General Michael Shafshak, of the Northern District's Central Unit told Ynet that all five men were "intelligent, driven and instilled with radical Islamic ideology.


"They were determined to execute the attacks, especially those aimed at a police officer or a soldier. They had a lot of plans. We found a lot of encrypted material on their computers."


The five Salafia Jihadia enthusiasts – a radical, if somewhat obscure, fundamentalist group affiliated with al-Qaeda.


"These are educated men who harbor extremely radical opinions. It's very disturbing to know that they are living among us," he added.


Northern District Police Commander Roni Atiya said that the cell's capture prevented loss of life among security forces and civilians alike.


"The determined and professional actions of the Shin Bet, with the help of the Northern Districts, was able to foil the suspects' nefarious plans.


"The police and Shin Bet will continue in their successful collaboration to uncover more terror cells."


Meanwhile, Ibrahim Katliat, father of one of the suspects, Ismail Ibrahim said that the allegations were false.


"My son had no connection to this organization. If, God forbid, there was something we would know about it and stop it immediately."


Their attorney, Abed al-Malek Dehamshe said that the whole case was "no more than rumors. Like in many cases in the past, they made a mountain out of a molehill and maybe oven more.


"I have spoken to my client, he is a regular person and all he did was discuss politics with his friends. That's his only sin. Like anyone he too wants justice for the Palestinians and opposes the Occupation in Gaza. There was no kidnapping there was no planning, nothing. Just small talk about politics."


Hassan Shaalan contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 09.15.11, 09:36
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