The Palestinian Arab who killed three people in a bulldozer rampage yesterday was a freelance jihadist — once again underscoring the international need for the Islamic groups who profess to oppose today’s jihad activity to begin to teach actively against it. But they are not doing so, and will not do so, and if you think they are doing so or will soon, I have a very fine bridge to sell you.
“Palestinian’s rampage the work of `lone attacker,’ police say,” by Dion Nissenbaum and Cliff Churgin for the McClatchy Newspapers, July 2 (thanks to JCB):
JERUSALEM “” A Palestinian construction worker commandeered a construction vehicle and rampaged through central Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon, killing three people in what police later described as the spontaneous act of a lone attacker.
Dozens were injured as the front-loader flattened cars and flipped a crowded bus before its driver was shot dead by an Israeli soldier on leave who scrambled onto the vehicle.
Though the attack evoked memories of the politically motivated suicide bombings that demoralized Jerusalem during the second Palestinian uprising, police said that the man appeared to have no ties to militant groups.
“This appears to have been a spontaneous attack,” Israeli Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen said.
Three militant Palestinian groups claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s rampage, but police officials dismissed all of them as groundless.
Police identified the driver as Hosam Dwayyat, a married, 30-year-old father of two who lived in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.
Israel’s Channel 2 reported that Dwayyat had served two years in prison for rape and attempted murder.
The attack created confusion and pandemonium as people scrambled for safety.
Assaf Nadav , the driver of the bus that the front-loader flipped on its side, said he wasn’t sure what was going on when he saw people running away from the construction vehicle as it headed toward him.
“He hit me lightly and I rolled down my window to ask him what he was doing when I saw him lower the scoop and turn the bus upside down,” Nadav said on Israel Radio. “Screaming would be an understatement.”
Two armed men and a police officer scrambled onto the vehicle, wrestled with the driver, then shot him, Israeli Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.
The men thought the attack was over, but the driver then lurched forward in a scene captured by nearby cameramen.
In a video that aired on Israeli television, one person rolls out of the way of the Caterpillar as the three armed Israelis wrestle with the driver.
A man in shorts and a T-shirt, later identified in Israeli news reports as 18-year-old Moshe Plesser , shoots the driver twice in the head, who then slumps in the seat.
Plesser, an Israeli soldier who just finished basic training, said the man yelled “God is great” in Arabic before trying to continue with his rampage.
“He yelled Allahu Akbar and hit the gas,” Plesser told Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper.