The Palestinian Authority foiled an attack planned by ISIS to be executed by a 23-year-old teacher from the West Bank city of Kalkilya, a senior source in the PA said Sunday. The suspected terrorist was arrested two weeks ago by the PA security forces and has been in their custody since.
The arrest of Ala' Bashir, from a village near Kalkilya, prompted an online campaign calling for her release due to the fact that the suspect is a woman. In response, the PA was forced to release a vague statement about her arrest.
A high-ranking Palestinian source told Ynet and its sister publication Yedioth Aharonoth that Bashir joined ISIS after she was approached on the Telegram encrypted instant messaging app to set out on a suicide mission. After this initial encounter, she was in contact with ISIS operatives in Syria and the Gaza Strip, who sent her an online training booklet on how to make a bomb.
The Palestinian sources said Bashir had in the past expressed solidarity for Al-Qaeda and the Salafist movement that operates in the Gaza Strip. She is a teacher of the Quran who had social problems and had decided to end her life by committing the attack.
Bashir's arrest was a source of embarrassment for the PA because of her family connections to a ranking-official in the intelligence forces.
Palestinian security forces have foiled a number of attacks against Israeli civilians and military targets in the past year. Last week, it emerged that Palestinian Authority security forces received 10 armored vehicles from the United States four months ago, with Israel's approval.
The Palestinian Authoritiy's security cooperation with Israel continues despite the PA's refusal to accept tax revenues from Israel with sums set aside for support of terrorist families deducted by Jerusalem.