'Would-be Jerusalem bomber learned to make explosives on YouTube, infiltrated Israel'

According to the indictment he made up his mind to attack, kill Jews and become a martyr after seeing Jews on the Temple Mount.

August 5, 2016 13:23
2 minute read.
pipe bomb

Pipe bombs found in the bag carried by Ali Abu Hassan, who planned an attack on the Jerusalem light rail on July 17. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)


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An indictment was filed on Friday against Ali Abu Hassan, a Hebron student who allegedly planned a terror attack on Jerusalem's light rail.

According to the indictment, he equipped himself with pipe bombs, nails dipped in rat poison and knives, and was looking for a target to attack. After arousing the suspicion of security guards, he was arrested.

The indictment was issued by the Jerusalem District Attorney.

20-year old Abu Hassan, a resident of Beit Ila and a civil engineering student in Hebron, was indicted for: attempted murder, weapons production, carrying a weapon, possession of a knife and entering Israel illegally.

According to the indictment, during Ramadan in the summer of 2016, after seeing news websites and Facebook posts showing Jews entering the Temple Mount complex, he made up his mind to attack, kill Jews and become a martyr.

According to a joint police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigation, Abu Hassan entered Israeli territory the day before the attempted attack through nearby Wadi Sur Bahir, and then changed his clothes into sportswear “to blend into the population,” police said.

“The next day, during the early morning, he prayed in a mosque nearby, boarded a bus in Talpiot reaching the city center, and began to walk along the railway tracks on Jaffa Road until reaching the intersection of Jaffa and King George streets,” police said.

“When he arrived at the light rail stop at Jaffa station, he began to explore the surroundings in order to find a place for the attack.”

The joint investigation determined that Abu Hassan then observed the station from a nearby restaurant, and decided to target it after seeing many people boarding and exiting the train.

Noting the suspect’s suspicious behavior, security guards stationed nearby questioned him and discovered he had three pipe bombs in his bag. They immediately placed him under arrest, and cleared the area of civilians.

Minutes later, police sappers arriving at the scene found the connected bombs were intermixed with nails and screws saturated in rat poison, as well as discovering two knives in his bag.

Police said that Abu Hassan planned the attack for several days.

The light rail was shut down for over an hour, until the bombs were neutralized and the area cleared.

“He purchased the equipment and resources necessary to make the pipe bombs, and then learned through the Internet how to prepare the explosives to cause maximum damage,” police said. “He later performed a test, and blew up a number of freight components in order to check them before entering Israel.”

Upon leaving the West Bank to carry out the attack, Abu Hassan wrote a letter and last will that he gave to a friend from Hebron University to give to his parents.

“The investigation also revealed that the bomber acted alone, and without organizational infrastructure,” police interrogators concluded.

Daniel K. Eisenbud contributed to this article.

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