|File photo of the Jerusalem District Court building [Image Source]|
Israelis pretty much take for granted that the country’s always-alert security forces will be pro-active in thwarting Palestinian Arab terrorists before their plots can run their course. But it’s of course not something anyone ought to take for granted.
Mahmoud Mussa Abbasi, reportedly a 25 year-old resident of one of the settlements and suburbs of East Jerusalem (according to Times of Israel, it’s Ras al-Amoud), was indicted this morning in Jerusalem District Court on terrorism charges. Arrested three weeks ago (according to Jerusalem Post) he allegedly plotted a terrorist attack in the capital – a shooting attack targeting security forces and civilians in Jerusalem, according to the Shin Bet.
The suspect had also allegedly tried to purchase weapons for such an attack. In addition, the Shin Bet investigations found that Abbasi has supported Hamas and was involved in several prior attacks in which Molotov cocktails and stones were hurled at Israeli security forces. Investigator also found that Abbasi had attempted to acquire knowledge on manufacturing pipe bombs, although he had not actually engaged in producing an explosive. [“Shin Bet thwarts suspected Jerusalem terror plot by Arab-Israeli man”, Jerusalem Post, October 27, 2016]
Hamas was also involved in another recently-thwarted plot here in the capital: “11-Oct-16: Who will live and who will die: A Hamas plot is thwarted in Jerusalem“.
Though the Jerusalem Post headline terms him an Arab-Israeli, we think that’s unlikely given that he lives in East Jerusalem. There’s no indication of anyone else being charged but experience suggests that sometimes accomplices are brought to court at a later stage in the investigation.
Israel National News adds that the prisoner is alleged to have been involved in
a number of terror-related offenses dating back to 2014. Abbasi is accused of taking part in violent disorders, as well as making and throwing firebombs during the Protective Edge counter-terror campaign in Gaza. From July 2015 until his arrest, he allegedly made a number of Facebook posts in praise of terror attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In 2016 he allegedly destroyed the hard disk of his employer’s computer after the employer was arrested by security forces.
Abbasi voiced support for the suicide bomber who attacked the number 12 bus in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem last April and the shooters at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv who killed four people in June. “Abbasi’s arrest, and the results of his questioning, demonstrate once again the high level of threat from acts by lone attackers who are influenced by incitement on the web by terror organizations, and in particular Hamas, and who themselves incite to carry out attacks,” the Shin Bet said. [“East Jerusalem man charged with plotting shooting, backing Hamas”, Times of Israel, October 27, 2016]
The shooter in a fatal Jerusalem terror attack less than three weeks ago [“09-Oct-16: In Jerusalem, first reports of Arab-on-Israeli shootings this morning“] was also connected to Hamas.