The two Israeli-Arabs planned terrorist attacks in Jerusalem on Independence Day

The Israeli Police released footage on Wednesday of the arrest of two Arab-Israelis who have been indicted on terrorism charges after they allegedly planned terrorist attacks on military and civilian targets on behalf of the Islamic State terrorist group in Jerusalem on Independence Day.

IDF arrests two ISIS members who were planning to commit a terror attack in Jerusalem
IDF arrests two ISIS members who were planning to commit a terror attack in Jerusalem

The two east Jerusalem residents from the neighborhood of Jebel Mukaber, 21-year-old Ahmed Jabbis and 19-year-old Basel Abidat, were arrested based on concrete intelligence as part of a planned raid.

“On the night of October 28, 2019, dozens of Border Police officers raided two houses simultaneously in the village of Jebel Mukaber,” said an undercover border police officer who oversaw the operation. “This was a planned operation, we had information about the location of the accused and as soon as conditions allowed, we detained them.”

The two were indicted in a Jerusalem court on Sunday.

According to the indictment, the two were active on ISIS-affiliated websites beginning in 2016, which spread the group’s religious and political messages as well as provide instructions on how to assemble bombs to carry out attacks.

In July, Abidat attempted to enter the Sinai Peninsula via Jordan in order to join with ISIS operatives, but was prevented from crossing the border by Jordanian security officials. Jabbis is said to have raised some NIS 2,000 that he transferred to a second party in order for it to be given to ISIS.

In September 2019, the two suspects discussed where they could carry out a terrorist attack in Jerusalem or against an IDF army base in the Jordan Valley with the aim of killing as many civilians or military personnel as possible.

The two discussed getting hold of an automatic weapon and carry out a shooting attack at Safra Square in Jerusalem, as well as against an event marking Independence Day at the Sultan’s Pool. In the event that the two failed to acquire guns, they chose to carry out a stabbing attack as a backup plan.

Prosecutors have requested that Jabbis and Abidat be held until the end of the trial.

“Israel police and border police counter-terrorism units will continue operations in order to prevent any terrorist attacks in Israel,” the police said in a statement.

While Israel has largely avoided an attack by the Islamic State group, numerous Arab Israelis have been arrested on suspicion of links with ISIS and plans to carry out attacks inspired by the Sunni extremist group.

Israel declared several Syrian jihadist groups, including Islamic State and Jabat al-Nusra, illegal organizations in late 2014.

Dozens of Israeli-Arabs have also been arrested upon their return to Israel after joining the terrorist groups in Syria, out of concern that their battlefield experience will allow them to establish terrorist networks or commit terrorist attacks within Israel.

Several Israeli-Arabs are believed to have been killed while fighting in Syria.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post