Arab Terror Cell That Planned Kidnappings Busted

The Shabak, IDF and Israel Police revealed that they had eliminated an Arab terror cell that planned to kidnap Israelis.

David Lev,

Israeli hitchhiker waits for a ride in Samari
Israeli hitchhiker waits for a ride in Samari
Hillel Meir

The Shabak, IDF and Israel Police on Tuesday revealed that they had discovered and eliminated an Arab terror cell that operated in the Binyamin area, whose main activity was attempting to kidnap Israelis.

The cell, led by two terrorists and based in Ramallah, is part of the Popular Front terror group. They were recently arrested and admitted under interrogation that they had planned to kidnap an Israeli, who would be held captive while the terrorists negotiated for the release of Ahmed Sa'adat, the arch-terrorist who, among other things, was responsible for the murder of former Tourism Minister Rachamim Ze'evi. Besides Sa'adat, a leader of the Popular Front, the terrorists planned to demand the release of other terrorists.

The two terrorists, both 22 years old, purchased weapons, including automatic weapons, which they planned to use in the kidnapping of Israelis.

They had also developed several scenarios under which they would carry out the kidnapping. In one scenario, the terrorists planned to carry out a shooting attack against IDF troops in order to create a diversion, and while soldiers were busy dealing with the terror attack, they would choose a soldier and whisk him away to a hiding place they had prepared in advance on the outskirts of Ramallah. In another scenario, they planned to pose as Israelis and pick up an Israeli hitchhiker waiting on a road in Samaria.

The two are being held until the end of proceedings against them, when they will go on trial. An additional eight suspects who were planning to assist them or who provided them with weapons or other support have been arrested as well.

In a statement, the Shabak said that the arrest “indicates the strong motivation terrorists have to kidnap Israelis. The Popular Front terror group has, over the past year, been especially active in these attempts,” the statement added.