Undercover security officers disguised as Border Guard forces killed the senior Islamic Jihad terrorist who masterminded a plot to blow up the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.


Information from the would-be bomber led to Wednesday's elimination of senior terrorist commander Mahmoud Abu Ubayed, who prepared the bomb that was to be used for the operation.


Abu Ubayed has been high on the wanted list for more than two years.  According to IDF sources, he was involved in dozens of bombing attacks against army units and was known for producing high-quality explosives.


Undercover forces caught the Islamic Jihad commander as he was driving a white Subaru in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Jenin. They killed him during the attempted arrest after he pulled out a semi-automatic M-16 rifle and fired at the officers.


On Tuesday night, security personnel in Bat Yam caught the terrorist that Abu Ubayed had recruited for the operation before he was able to carry out the attack.


The would-be bomber, 24-year-old Omar Abu Rod, is a resident of the village of Jelabun, located near Kibbutz Maaleh Gilboa, several miles east of Jenin. The Arab town is in Palestinian Authority territory, while the kibbutz is located inside the pre-1967 borders of Israel.

After confessing to his role in the operation, Abu Rod led security forces to the dumpster in Rishon LeTzion from which he had planned to retrieve the 3-5 kilogram bomb built by Abu Ubayed.


The terrorist told General Security Services (Shin Bet) officers that he had planned to return later in the evening to pick up the bomb on his way to carry out the planned attack.


Tense Waiting Tuesday Night During Search for Terrorists

The drama began early Tuesday evening when police ordered the cities of Tel Aviv, Holon, Bat Yam and Rishon LeTzion to move to high alert after receiving an intelligence warning that a suicide bomber had possibly infiltrated the region.


After a two-hour operation in which security forces permeated the region with roadblocks and threw a dragnet around the area, officers found Abu Rod and several other terror team members in an apartment in Bat Yam, a suburb south of Tel Aviv.  The apartment was rented by an Arab family; the parents apparently did not know that their son had brought the terrorist home.  Residents of the building later sent a joint letter to the owner of the apartment, demanding that he evict the Arab family.


Abu Rod confessed to the planned attack and led officers to the dumpster in Rishon LeTzion where they had stashed their explosives earlier in the day. 


Police sappers spent more than an hour attempting to dismantle the 3-5 kilogram bomb.  After a robot failed to accomplish the task, a live sapper worked on the explosives for another half hour.  When he was unable to safely defuse the bomb on site, it was moved to the sand dunes located on the western side of the coastal city.  Sappers then detonated the bomb in a controlled explosion.


Islamic Jihad Vows Revenge

Islamic Jihad leaders issued a statement Wednesday morning saying Abu Ubayed’s death would be avenged.  “The Zionist enemy’s crimes and killing will not affect our resistance program and, Allah willing, today’s crime will not pass without revenge and revenge will come soon,” said the statement.


The terrorist organization also issued a statement Tuesday night after the failed operation, saying it was to have been carried out in protest of “the crimes of the Israeli occupation.”  

The last attack by Islamic Jihad was a lethal suicide bombing carried out on January 29 in a bakery in the Red Sea resort town of Eilat.  Three people were killed and many others wounded in that attack.


The group added that the plot was one of a series it has planned for the Jewish State in an operation it referred to as “Winter Thaw.”


In addition, Islamic Jihad vowed to carry out a “massive attack” in what it said was a message to the United States.