Al Qaeda “may be a mortally wounded tiger that still has some life in it” — John Brennan, CIA director
The wound looks less mortal all the time.
“3 east Jerusalem al-Qaida recruits arrested, ‘planned massive bombings,'” by Yaakov Lappin for the Jerusalem Post, January 22 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Wednesday that it arrested three Palestinians from east Jerusalem recruited online by an al-Qaida operative in Gaza, who were in the midst of preparations to carry out a string of large-scale bombing and shooting attacks on multiple targets in Israel.
The intended targets included the Jerusalem Convention Center, a bus traveling between the capital and Ma’aleh Adumim, the US embassy in Tel Aviv, and emergency responders who would have arrived at the scene of attacks[.]
The Shin Bet said an al-Qaida operative in Gaza, named as Ariv Al-Sham, recruited the men separately from one another, and had planned to activate three independent terrorist cells via his recruits. Senior Shin Bet sources said they believed Al-Sham received his orders directly from the head of al-Qaida’s central structure, Ayman Al-Zawahri.
Using Sykpe and Facebook, Al-Sham was able to recruit Iyad Khalil Abu-Sara, 23, of Ras Hamis in east Jerusalem, who has an Israeli ID card. During questioning, Abu-Sara, who was arrested on December 25, admitted to volunteering to carry out a “sacrifice attack” on an Israeli bus travelling between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim. In the planned attack, terrorists would have fired shots at the bus’s wheels, causing it to overturn, before gunning down passengers at close range, and firing on emergency responders.
According to the Shin Bet’s investigation, Abu-Sara also volunteered to help orchestrate a double suicide bombing, involving the dispatching of two suicide bomber to the Jerusalem Convention Center and the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, simultaneously. Subsequently, Abu-Sara planned to detonate a suicide truck bomb in the vicinity of emergency responders arriving at the Convention Center.
To that end, Al-Sham and Abu-Sara plotted to bring a group of foreign terrorists to Israel using fake Russian passports, who would have entered the country by posing as tourists. Abu-Sara was meant to receive the terrorists, and prepare their suicide bomb vests and a truck bomb. Abu-Sara was also supposed to travel to Syria for training in combat and explosives manufacturing, and had purchased a flight ticket to Turkey, a gateway to Syria.
Abu-Sara received computer files containing virtual training courses on bomb manufacturing from Al-Sham in Gaza, the Shin Bet added.
Security forces monitored communications between Abu-Sara and Al-Sham, observing how the latter asked his recruit which targets he had access to. After Abu-Sara suggested various targets, Al-Sham would direct the conversation towards operational aspects of attacks.
A second suspect, Rubin Abu-Nagma, confessed to plotting to kidnap a soldier from the Jerusalem Central bus station, as well as a bombing against a residential building housing Israeli Jews in the Abu Tor neighborhood of east Jerusalem. During questioning, he described how he learned to manufacture bombs online.
Ala Anam, a third suspect, also confessed to being in internet communication with Al-Sham, and plotting to set up a Salafi-Jihadi cell in Samaria for the purpose of carrying out terror attacks….