Israeli Shin Bet intelligence agents busted a terror cell plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat. Undercover agents arrested three of the terrorists.
The interrogation of the terrorist revealed that an additional terrorist from Syria was also part of the cell. The plan included significant terror attacks against a variety of targets. The most senior figures that they targeted were none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
“Working on orders from terrorist operatives abroad, Muhammad planned to carry out a number of significant terror attacks against a variety of targets,” the security service said.
The US Jerusalem Consulate was another target. Also, a delegation of Canadian representatives who live in Jerusalem was on the list. The Canadian delegation is in the country in order to train Palestinian Authority forces in Judea and Samaria.
One of the interrogated terrorists, Muhammad Jamal Rashda, 30, has an Israeli identity card. He has already served time in an Israeli prison for terrorist activity. Many Arab terrorists were freed in prisoner exchanges in recent years.
The terror cell also intended to bring in a terrorist from Jordan. The investigation also revealed that Rashada carried out preliminary steps in order to collect intelligence about the targets against which he planned to carry out attacks. All of this was run via a terrorist operative from Syria.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat tweeted that “Our Shin Bet is one of the best in the world. They updated me during the course of the threat. (But) I knew that I could completely rely on the Shin Bet and the police. Therefore, I was able to sleep quietly and confidently. Throughout this period, I insisted on not changing anything on my agenda. Because we simply must not let terror dictate our agenda.”
“Anyone who thinks that they can change reality through terror is mistaken. Not only will they not succeed. Our security services will catch and punish them with all severity. On the other hand, we will continue to build and develop Jerusalem and the State of Israel. And no threat will deter us.”
Plot began in Syria
The Israeli Shin Bet intelligence services said that a terrorist in Syria actually directed the plot to assassinate the 2 Israeli leaders. The Israel security service said that they began collecting intelligence on their targets over the past few months. Although the arrest was made back in April, the Shin Bet decided to only release the information today.
There was no immediate comment from PM Netanyahu on the matter. He is now in the midst of meetings with European leaders on the issue of the Iranian deal.