Shabak Foils Hamas Plot to Attack Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium
It has been released for publication that Israeli security services, together with the IDF, broke up a major Hamas terrorist cell in September that was planning attacks on a range of high-profile Israeli targets, including Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium.
According to the Israeli Security Agency (ISA or Shabak), the cell – which was based in Judea and Samaria – was directed by Hamas’s leadership in Turkey. It involved several members of Hamas’s “military wing”, the Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigade, who had received specialist military training abroad.
During the course of the investigation more than 30 terror suspects were arrested and a large cache of weapons seized by security forces, including two M-16 rifles, ammunition and bomb-making material.
The cell in question is believed to have been behind the series of roadside bombs placed at Rehelim Junction in Samaria, close to the city of Ariel, back in August 31, as well as another explosive charge planted at Jit Junction. In both cases, terrorists set two bombs and timed them to go off one after another following enough of a time-lapse to allow the second charge to go off when emergency services arrived.
The attacks failed to cause any injuries, but led to a series of arrests by the Shabak which ultimately led to the major Hamas cell.
Upon interrogating suspects, investigators revealed a long list of targets for attack throughout Israel.
They also discovered that several of the terrorists involved in the plot had been recruited in Jordan as far back as 2012. Those recruits received extensive military training and were smuggled back into Judea and Samaria at the start of 2014, in preparation for a major terrorist campaign. Their tasks included making contact with and recruiting other cell members, and carrying out reconnaissance and other key operational tasks.
Shabak investigators have revealed the intricate and carefully-planned details of the wave of terror.
The selection process
Potential recruits were scouted by Hamas commanders among students in Jordan who they knew personally and therefore were able to trust, according to investigators. Those singled out for recruitment were also required to shared the same ideology of Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood).
Those enlisted were immediately passed on to senior officials at Hamas’s Jordanian headquarters, who were tasked with training them in military and other fields.
After being located and recruited, the new operatives were trained in the specific fields they would need to carry out terrorist attacks. The training was carried out in coordination with and under the supervision of Hamas’s leadership in Gaza as well as abroad, and took place in different locations, including Gaza, Syria, Turkey and Jordan.
Recruits were taken into Gaza via the network of Hamas smuggling tunnels from Egypt. Upon arrival, they received intensive training in sabotage, weapons training, navigation and intelligence-gathering.
From there they traveled to Turkey, where they received more specific courses gearing towards individual tasks necessary for targeting cites throughout Israel, as well as Israeli and Jewish targets abroad.
In Jordan, they also received weapons and explosives training, espionage, and briefings on attacks they were to carry out.
Preparing for attacks
The newly-trained terrorists were then placed under the command of Hamas’s Turkey-based leadership, headed by Salah Al-Arouri – the man who, among other things, was responsible for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers back in June. Those Hamas officials appointed specific roles to each recruit and deployed them in different locations throughout Judea and Samaria.
Hamas commanders in Jordan also helped coordinate their operational activities.
The extensive list of planned attacks included:
- Shooting attacks against Israeli drivers in Judea and Samaria
- Infiltration attacks into Israeli communities
- Kidnapping Israelis both in Judea-Samaria and outside of Israel
- Car bombings
- A major attack on Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium
- An attack on Jerusalem’s Light Rail
- Recruiting operatives in Jordan to carry out deadly raids into Israeli territory