Police uncover major Holon bomb-making ring
LAST UPDATED: 10/23/2012 20:03
Father-and-son-run operation supplied dozens of lethal explosives to criminals in central Israel, say police.
YAMAR Tel Aviv District Commander Gadi Eshed Photo: Ben Hartman
A father and son from Holon have been running a highly sophisticated bomb-making
ring that supplied dozens of explosives to organized crime figures in the
country’s Center over the past year, police revealed Tuesday.
became public on Tuesday when police sappers, detectives and SWAT officers
carried out a series of raids in Holon, Petah Tikva and Yavne, during which they
arrested 19 suspects.
At a police briefing the same day, the Tel Aviv
branch of the YAMAR investigative unit called the operation “one of the largest
and most sophisticated explosives labs ever caught,” and trumpeted the
investigation as having prevented large-scale bloodshed of both criminals and
Israel Radio reported Tuesday night that the bomb-making ring packed nails and screws into the explosives to maximize damage, a tactic used by suicide bombers. According to the report, they applied international methods of bomb-making that could have caused mass loss of life.
The central suspect is 18- year-old Holon resident
Moti Senyor, who police say ran the lab for the past year out of his parents’
apartment with the cooperation of his father, Shimon Senyor.
described the operation as one of the most advanced in the country’s history,
they also said that the younger Senyor – who is under house arrest at his
parents’ home – learned his know-how from the Internet, including how to
construct remote-detonated explosives.
Police believe the teen sold
dozens of such explosive devices to criminals in the Center for between NIS
2,000 and NIS 4,000 each, depending on their weight.
According to police,
the operation involved the Senyor family on the manufacturing level, as well as
the 50-year-old owner of a Petah Tikva fireworks company who supplied remote
controls and explosive material. There were also dealers and delivery men who
distributed dozens of the devices to customers over the past year, police
One of the suspects is a 16- year-old who police said was a courier
for the explosives. In addition, two soldiers on active duty were arrested last
week while allegedly transporting a bomb to an undisclosed location in the
The latter incident occurred last Wednesday night, when
performing a stake-out on the Senyor house saw a cab driver pull up and
hand over a package to two men on a motorcycle, who placed the package
under the seat
and tore off at high speed.
The observing officers, who included
Ch.-Supt. Yoav Kotler of YAMAR Tel Aviv, gave chase after the motorcycle, which
began making its way toward Rishon Lezion. Detectives managed to corner the
motorcycle and arrest the two soldiers.
According to police, sappers at
the scene were shocked to discover that the device was already loaded and set to
go off at the press of a button.
While police were reluctant to give up
names of the criminals who had purchased the explosives, they said one of them
was a convict currently serving a 12- year sentence, who had ordered dozens of
bombs to take out his rivals from behind bars.
Tel Aviv Police said
Tuesday that the police sappers who had detonated the explosives confiscated
from the ring had determined that they “are powerful, complicated devices with
the ability to cause massive loss of life.”
They added that both the
Senyor family home and the fireworks warehouse were located in densely packed
residential areas. If an accidental explosion had taken place, police said,
buildings could have crumpled to the ground, taking the lives of innocent
neighbors – including two infant twins who investigators said slept in a room on
the other side of a main wall of the Petah Tikva factory.
described the bomb-making houses as posing a clear and present danger to their
general surroundings, they admitted that they had been staking out the two
houses and known about the operation for at least two months before they moved
During the remand extension at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on
Tuesday, Moti Senyor and two other defendants came before the judge, including
19- year-old Marcus Ariel, who wore a black kippa and covered his face with a
tallit as photographers crowded around the three for pictures.
the chief defendants in the case are described as being friends and relatives of
the younger Senyor, a number of them teenagers. Considering the police
description of the ring as one of the most sophisticated criminal weaponry labs
ever busted in Israel, the defendants looked remarkably unsophisticated: mainly
skinny teenagers in board shorts and sweatpants, hiding their faces from the
cameras and asking if they could take a bag of food and snacks brought by
relatives back to jail with them. Detectives denied the request.
detective in the courthouse on Tuesday admitted that lab tests still had not
returned conclusive results that the seized material was in fact explosives,
though he said he had received assurances from police sappers that there was
little doubt about the nature of the contraband.
Senyor’s lawyer seized
on this fact, saying that her client had told her and police that the raw
materials were not explosives, but supplies to make decorative artwork – a hobby
that Senyor said he had learned on the Internet.
Under questioning, the
detective also admitted that a different police unit than YAMAR had performed a
raid on the Senyor house a month earlier, though he said he was not sure what
the unit had been looking for or what was found. He added that the raid in
question had not been connected to the alleged bomb-making ring.
Tuesday night, the remand hearings were still ongoing, though a number of the
suspects had their remands extended until Wednesday and Thursday.