Israeli security forces stand at the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, after Israel removed all security measures it had installed at the compound, and Palestinians entered the compound in Jerusalem's Old City July 27, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Two residents of Umm el-Fahm were indicted for planning a terrorist attack on the Temple Mount, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said on Thursday. A third resident was arrested at the same time for possessing firearms and supporting Islamic State.
The three were allegedly affiliated with ISIS and were arrested earlier this month in a joint operation of the Shin Bet and the Israel Police. According to a statement released for publication on Thursday, the three were planning a shooting attack similar to the one in July, in which two Israeli police officers were killed.
The three were identified as Sa’id Ghasoub Mahmoud Jabarin, 26, who is suspected of masterminding the attack; Fares Salah Mahmoud Mahajneh, 24, an ISIS supporter who is suspected in possessing firearms; and another, unnamed, 16-year-old who is suspected of involvement.
Jabarin and the minor were indicted in the Haifa District Court on charges of conspiring to aid an enemy, contact with a foreign agent and on a series of weapons charges.
During the investigation, the police found two pistols and ammunition that the suspects were planning to use in their attack. In addition, a Carl Gustav-type submachine gun was found in Mahajne’s house.
The police statement stressed that the attack was planned in light of the suspects’ support of Islamic State and its ideology. The suspects were said to frequent ISIS propaganda websites and watch official ISIS videos and had planned to join the group’s fighters in Syria.
The indictment document said the three were also planning to target security personnel and other non-Muslims and that they already conducted reconnaissance surveys around the compound, looking for potential locations to carry out the attack.
A senior Shin Bet official said following the publication, “The image that became clear during the investigation showed us that a short while after the deadly attack in July 2017 on the Temple Mount, two Umm el-Fahm residents planned a similar attack in the compound.”
“The attack was prevented due to accurate intelligence that enabled the arrest of the squad before they managed to carry out the attack. The Shin Bet sees the Israelis who support the Islamic State – and furthermore, those who are in touch with their members and working directly for them – as a severe security threat,” he added.
The statement added that Islamic State, which is retreating from most of its battlefronts these days, is still making an effort to show a positive image on social networks.
”By doing that, the terrorist organization tries to recruit potential operatives,” the statement reads.
The attack on July 14 was carried out by three Umm al-Fahm residents as well – Muhammad Ahmad Mahmoud Jabarin, 29; Muhammad Ahmed Fadel Jabarin, 19; and Muhammad Hamed Abd al-Latif Jabarin, 19. After the attack, two Carl Gustav guns and one pistol were found on their bodies.