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Terror cell exposed near Jerusalem

Border Police uncover terror cell plotting attacks on Israeli security officers, arrest members.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

The Qalandiya Crossing (illustrative)
The Qalandiya Crossing (illustrative)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Israel's Border Police uncovered a terror cell in the Jerusalem-area Arab town of Qalandiya.

The cell, which included seven terrorists from Qalandiya, would hurl explosives and firebombs at a nearby crossing.

A senior Border Police investigative officer explained, "The investigations revealed organized terror activities, led by Mustafa Khaled Shakhada Kasaba, who was born in 2000 and lives in Qalandiya. Since March 2018, he has been involved in selling weapons, some of which were used in terror attacks on Israeli towns."

"In addition, it seems that Mustafa would supply explosives and firebombs to a cell of six suspects. He led this cell and sometimes would take part in its activities.

"As the investigation progressed, the conditions for the Border Police's special forces to act improved. Among other things, the Border Police unit of 'Mistarvim' (counter-terrorism officers who operate undercover in Arab areas - ed.) attempted to arrest the terrorists red-handed. As part of the operation, officers worked on December 25, 2018, at the Qalandiya Crossing. That night, they identified four people hurling explosives at the Crossing.

"We worked at the scene for an extended amount of time, until we noticed several suspects arriving from Qalandiya. Suddenly the suspects pulled out explosives, lit them, and threw them at the Crossing. We immediately readied for their arrest, with the officers very close to the unsuspecting suspects. The moment we noticed them hurling explosives at the Crossing, we jumped from our positions and chased them down, arresting two of them.

"In that operation, we arrested Ahmad Mohammed Hussani Amatir (18) and another minor suspect (17), both residents of Qalandiya, and transferred them for interrogation.

"The findings from their interrogations led to another operation involving the Border Police's special forces and the IDF's Binyamin Region forces. This time we worked from within Qalandiya and brought about the arrest of three additional terror suspects. Mahmad Nasser Haadi Abu Guyleh (18) and an additional suspect, both residents of Qalandiya and involved in terror operations aimed at the Crossing, as well as Mustafa Khaled Shakhada Kasaba (18), who led the cell and provided it with weapons.

"Abu Guyleh's interrogation showed that the terrorists intended to burn the Crossing and harm the security officers working in it. The identities of two additional minor terrorists (aged 15-16) also became clear from his interrogation. Both of them are residents of Qalandiya and members of the terror cell. Last month, the Border Police arrested them in an operation in Qalandiya."

Over the past few weeks, indictments have been filed against all six terror suspects. Charges include terror activities, use of explosives, and various security crimes. The seventh suspect has been taken for continued interrogation by security forces.

The indictments show many instances in which the cell members manufactured explosives and engaged in terror activity towards the Crossing, including the hurling of pipe bombs and firebombs, firing explosives, and owning M-16 rifles.