Hamas terror cell planning suicide bombings busted
The Israeli Security Agency (ISA) cleared for publication on Wednesday that it has nabbed a Hamas terror cell located in Abu Dis, just adjacent to Jerusalem to the east, that was planning to launch suicide and car bombing attacks.
The arrests took place in recent weeks, and saw a wide terror infrastructure that was directed by Hamas terrorists in Gaza exposed.
Up to now a full 25 Hamas activists in the terror cell have been arrested, most of them students of Abu Dis University. From the investigation it has been learned the leader of the cell was 24-year-old Ahmed Gamal Mussa Azzam, a resident of Kalkilya in northern Jerusalem.
Azzam was recruited by Hamas in Gaza several months ago, and enlisted to establish a terror cell to conduct bombings against Israeli targets.
The cell leader was in ongoing contact with the terrorists in Gaza and was trained to create bomb belts and explosives. He was ordered to recruit several other activists who studied with him at the university so as to obtain materials to build bombs, to rent apartments and recruit suicide bombers.
During the investigation the ISA located an explosives lab in an apartment rented by Azzam in Abu Dis. Several of the materials to produce large-scale bombs were purchased in sovereign Israeli territory and others in Ramallah, and an investigation of the sources behind the materials led to additional arrests.
Two Arab citizens of Israel were among the students drafted to the terror cell, and Azzam intended to use their freedom of movement to launch attacks. One of them, a resident of the Old City in Jerusalem, gathered information about potential targets, and was also to help smuggle attackers over the 1949 Armistice lines.
The other citizen, a 19-year-old Bedouin from the Negev, admitted to joining the cell in October to help smuggle bomb belts or bomb-rigged cars into sovereign Israeli territory.
It was found that the two citizens are also supporters of Islamic State (ISIS) and likewise were active in local Salafist groups.
Another branch of the Hamas terror cell was discovered in the Bethlehem region of Judea, and its members included Abu Dis University students recruited to act as suicide bombers.