Alert citizen played hand in catching Herzliya terror suspect

Herzliya resident Shai identified Ahmad Khatib on the street, overpowering him until police forces arrived.

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Cynthia Blank,

Ahmad Khatib
Ahmad Khatib
Israel Police

A resident of Herzliya alerted police to the location of terror suspect Ahmad Khatib on Tuesday, after the Arab from eastern Jerusalem threatened to carry out an attack in the coastal city.

Police and Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) forces spent a tense morning in hot pursuit of Khatib before finally capturing him with the help of the Israeli, identified as Shai. 

"I have a real estate office," Shai told Yedioth Ahronoth. "Before I entered the office, one of the people on the street told me [police] hadn't caught him yet." He said he checked the outlet's news app and saw the mugshot publicized by police, "when suddenly I saw him in front of me." 

"He was crossing the street and talking on the phone," the Israeli recounted. "He looked dazed, stressed. He was walking back and forth. As if he knew they were looking for him."

"One of the office's agents called the police. I went outside and laid him down on a bench out here in a matter of seconds," Shai concluded. "Police arrived really quickly."

According to police Khatib quarreled with his father before threatening to carry out an attack. He then passed through a police barricade near Jerusalem and drove towards central Israel, abandoning his vehicle in Herzliya. 

The 20-year-old Arab has a previous criminal record.