Two J'lem Arabs Indicted Over Al Qaeda Cell
Two indictments were submitted on Tuesday against two Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem. The two were arrested last week for planning a terror attack on Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem and the American Embassy in Tel Aviv.
23-year-old Abu Sara of Shuafat was indicted for making contact with foreign terrorists to plan the attacks and supporting terrorist organizations, while 30-year-old Rubin Abu Nagma of Abu Tor was indicted for conspiring to commit a crime, producing and bearing weapons, arson and other crimes.
The listing of the crimes and planned attacks conducted by the two belie reports that US officials doubted the veracity of the planned terror attacks.
According to the indictment, Abu Sara was contacted by a man called "Abu Hamza" claiming to be a terrorist from Gaza last October-November through Facebook. Through their ongoing almost daily conversations, there is reason to believe Abu Sara was aware the man was part of Al Qaeda.
After roughly a month of contact, as their conversations moved from Facebook to Skype, Abu Hamza suggested that Abu Sara carry out a suicide bombing. Around a week later Abu Sara agreed to the idea.
Abu Sara proposed a plan in which he would open fire on the tires of a bus traveling from Maaleh Adumim to Jerusalem, causing it to overturn and stop, after which he would continue firing on the civilians and soldiers arriving on the scene.
The 23-year-old Jerusalem resident additionally thought to conduct an attack on the US Embassy in Tel Aviv at the same time, in which two suicide bombers would detonate at the site.
Immediately afterwards, the second attack on Binyanei Hauma would occur in two stages: three suicide bombers would strike first, and afterwards Abu Sara would drive a truck full of explosives camouflaged with sun-heated water tanks. He planned to detonate the truck right next to rescue forces at the scene.
In order to solidify the plans, Abu Sara checked the Binyanei Hauma area several times, recording on which days the area was most crowded.
The two continued their conversations, discussing the price of weapons and how to send Abu Sara for weapons and explosives training in Syria, where he was to receive money to fund the attack. The possibility to bring in foreign terrorists to Israel under forged passports also arose in the talks.
Abu Sara was also indicted for supporting terrorist organizations; during the month of Ramadan last year he took part in a protest on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where he waved the flag of the terror group Hamas that runs Gaza.
Abu Nagma terrorized Abu Tor with molotov cocktails, planned a kidnapping
As for Rubin Abu Nagma, he was indicted for founding a terror cell with three other unknown people over the course of 2013. The cell's goal was to throw stones and molotov cocktails at Jewish residents in the Abu Tor neighborhood of Jerusalem, an activity the group did weekly.
In one incident last September, Abu Nagma bought gasoline and prepared with his co-terrorists ten molotov cocktails, which they proceeded to throw towards the homes of Jewish residents of Abu Tor, causing damage to the homes. Abu Nagma threw 3 of the explosives himself.
A similar molotov cocktail spree in Abu Tor was carried out by the cell during the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur last year, as they threw 7 "cocktails" at a Jewish home in Abu Tor. In another incident when the group came to throw the explosives, they spotted guards patrolling the area, and proceeded to throw stones at them, leaving one of the guards bleeding from his head.
Abu Nagma is also indicted for talking with a man last July about kidnapping an IDF soldier to hold negotiations on his release. The plan would have them kidnap and hand over the soldier to Islamic Jihad terrorists in Judea and Samaria.
To conduct the kidnapping, the accused began trying to locate suitable partners in crime, and trying to find the best location to carry out the kidnapping.
The 30-year-old Jerusalem Arab was further indicted of possessing weapons and ammunition, after having bought a pistol from an unknown man for 10,000 shekels ($2,861) around the year 2010.