Burgas bombing
Burgas bombingIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The Shin Bet’s 2012 report on terror had a highly positive finding: no Israelis were murdered in terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria for the first time since 1993. However, the report found that terrorists have not stopped murdering Israelis, but rather, have switched their focus to less heavily-guarded Israelis abroad.

It noted three high-profile attacks on Israelis abroad: the bus bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria in which five Israelis and one Bulgarian were murdered, a bombing in New Delhi in which a diplomat’s wife was wounded, and an attempted bombing targeting an embassy employee in Georgia.

The year 2012 also saw attacks on non-Israeli Jewish communities abroad, including the horrific murders of three children and a rabbi at the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse, France. The murderer, Mohammed Merah, said he targeted the school due to his hatred of Israel.

The worldwide shock over the brutal attack led Palestinian Authority officials to issue a rare public condemnation of terrorism.

Alongside the increasing frequency of attacks abroad, the Shin Bet noted the unprecedented number of arrests of terrorists linked to Hizbullah and to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Many terrorists were arrested abroad while in the planning stages for attacks against Israelis.

Among the notable arrests was the arrest of a Hizbullah terrorist in Bangkok. The terrorist was found to be part of a cell plotting a mass attack on Israeli tourists in Thailand.

A Hizbullah terrorist was arrested in Cyprus, and was found to have been gathering information on tourist sites, ships and airplanes used by Israelis. Just weeks later two Revolutionary Guards terrorists were arrested in Kenya for planning attacks on Israelis in the country.