Bus bomb terror cell nabbed in Ramallah

Dec. 19, 2012 at 6:41 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Israel security agency Shin Bet has arrested members of an alleged terror cell in the Ramallah area supposedly responsible for bombing a bus in Tel Aviv.

Details released Wednesday by Shin Bet said the cell operatives, members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, were responsible for the Nov. 21 bombing in Tel Aviv in which 26 people were injured.

The arrests thwarted plans to carry out additional attacks in Israel, Shin Bet said.

Among those arrested was Ahmed Salah Ahmed Musa, 25, a member of Hamas who was jailed by Israel previously for plotting attacks. Shin Bet said Musa was the cell leader and compiled intelligence ahead of the bus attack and built the bomb.

Also arrested was Mahmoud Abed al-Jafer Nasser Mafarjah, 18, an Israeli Arab and member of Hamas, who was recruited by Musa to place the bomb in the bus; Fouad Rabah Shukri Iatzi, 27, a member of Islamic Jihad who was also imprisoned in Israel in the past for his role in terrorist activities; and Mahmoud Mahpoud Said Demra, 25, also a member of Hamas.

Details from their interrogation revealed they planned to carry out a number of attacks, including a drive-by shooting at Israeli soldiers near West Bank settlements, Shin Bet said. Cell members also planned a suicide bomb attack near Israeli government officials.

Mafarjah was indicted in Tel Aviv court Wednesday and charged with aiding the enemy in time of war, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, causing an explosion, illegal transport of weapons and assisting an illegal organization.

Indictments against the other suspects are pending.

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