Police: Stabbing was probably a terror attack

By MELANIE LIDMAN
December 19, 2010 20:38

“We are still looking at all directions, continuing the investigation,” says police spokesman, after US woman found dead near J'lem.

3 minute read.



Kristine Luken

kristine luken 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Saturday’s stabbing and murder of two young women in a forest near Beit Shemesh were probably a terrorist attack, police said on Sunday.

The police investigation is still under way into the attack that wounded Givat Ze’ev resident Kay Wilson, an olah from Great Britain, and killed her American friend Kristine Luken, as they were hiking in the wooded hills west of the capital.

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“We are still looking at all directions, still continuing the investigation, and questioning people who may have seen them,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “The main direction is that this was a nationalistic attack, though we haven’t ruled out the possibilities of a criminal incident.

“There have been no claims [of responsibility] by [terrorist] organizations,” Rosenfeld noted, however.

The body of Luken, a US citizen living in England who was visiting Israel, was found south of Mata, approximately 400 meters from the road between Mata and Beit Shemesh, police said. Her body was discovered around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Wilson, a tour guide who worked part-time for Shoresh Tours, a Christian tour company, was stabbed and seriously wounded and handcuffed, but managed to drag herself to the road. There she saw two families, who called the police.

After she gave a brief account of the incident, Magen David Adom evacuated her to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

On Sunday, police investigators interviewed Wilson in her hospital bed for several hours.

Her condition was improving and she was expected to leave the hospital in two to three days, a Hadassah spokesman said.

“[Wilson] had her hands bound, and she was stabbed pretty bad in the upper part of her body,” Rosenfeld said. “The obvious intention was to have her killed. This was not something where they were just trying to take her purse. It was a serious crime scene. We’re talking about two women walking around the Jerusalem Forest, we’re not even talking about Judea and Samaria.”

Wilson described her ordeal, telling reporters that her attacker removed her Star of David necklace and then stabbed her in the chest.

Wilson and Luken had been hiking in the woods when two Arab men asked Wilson for water in Hebrew, she said. After they disappeared from view, Wilson became uneasy about their intentions, and told Luken they should return to Mata.

As they walked toward the village, the attackers pounced on the women, stabbing both repeatedly.

Wilson said her attacker had used a knife with a huge blade, adding that it looked like a bread knife. Wilson managed to produce a small blade of her own that she carried for selfdefense, and stabbed her attacker once, she said.

But after being stabbed again and again, Wilson fell to the ground and played dead, waiting for the men to leave. She provided harrowing descriptions of hearing her friend struggle for breath before dying on the ground beside her.

After a few minutes, Wilson found that she was able to stand up, and walked toward Mata. She saw a passing car but was unable to shout due to as she was having difficulty breathing.

She then found the two families sitting in a park, and turned around to show them that her hands had been bound. The family alerted police.

Several hundred people searched for Luken overnight Saturday, including units with rescue dogs, combat soldiers, police helicopters, mounted police, and several hundred other police officers.

After Luken’s body was found, police remained at the scene for three hours, combing the area for information.

The security level had not been raised in the Jerusalem area as of Sunday, though police were coordinating with security in the villages around Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh to be extra vigilant.

Rosenfeld said the police were waiting for “concrete answers” before updating security procedures.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.


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