by Yona Schnitzer/TPS
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) arrested three residents of Umm El Fahm earlier this month in a joint operation with Israeli Police forces on suspicion of plotting an attack on Har Habayis and of being supporters of the militant Islamic group ISIS, the Shin Bet revealed Thursday.
The three were named as Said Gasub Mahmoud Jabrin, 26; Faras Salah Mahajna, 24; and a 16-year-old minor, whose name has not been released. Jabrin and the minor are charged with plotting an attack on Har Habayis. The Shin Bet said that during their interrogation, two handguns were surrendered to the police.
According to Shin Bet, the planned attack was inspired by and was to be similar to the July 14 attack at the Lions Gate entrance to Har Habayis in which two policemen were shot dead in an attack perpetrated by three residents of Umm El Fahm.
‘We’ve gathered that a relatively short time after the July 2017 attack on Har Habayis, two residents of Umm El Fahm plotted to carry out a similar attack, which was thwarted thanks to precise intelligence gathered by the Shin Bet that lead to the arrest of the cell’s members before they could carry out this serious attack,’ said a senior Shin Bet source.
Mahajna is suspected of possession of illegal firearms and supporting ISIS. The Shin Bet said a Carl Gustav assault rifle was seized in his house.
According to the agency, the interrogation of the three also lead to more arrests in the Umm El Fahm area, uncovering illegal firearms and weapons dealers.
“The Shin Bet sees Israeli supporters of ISIS as a serious threat,’ the source added.
Meanwhile, Police on Wednesday said they had picked up a Palestinian working inside Israel without a permit and that under questioning he admitted that he planned to purchase a knife and carry out a stabbing attack.