Despite arrests, British Embassy 'confident' about security

Spokesman: "At the moment we’re confident with our security, and the Israelis haven’t indicated there’s any link with the mission."

By MELANIE LIDMAN,
January 5, 2011 02:19
1 minute read.
The British Consulate in Jerusalem

British Consulate 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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The British Embassy was not worried about any security breaches at its Jerusalem Consulate, its spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, despite the arrests of two consulate employees on firearms charges linked by security forces to a terrorist plot to attack the capital’s Teddy Stadium.

“At the moment we’re confident with our security, and the Israelis haven’t indicated there’s any link with the mission,” the spokesman said.

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He confirmed the arrest of two employees, Muhammad Hamadeh and Bilal Bakhatan, who were part of the maintenance team at the consulate located in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Hamadeh and Bakhatan were arrested on suspicion of supplying firearms to the main terrorism suspects.

“They bought and sold firearms, which were procured by the two main suspects to facilitate their plan to attack Teddy Stadium,” Rosenfeld said.

Hamadeh is the cousin of Musa Hamadeh, one of the two main terrorism suspects accused of planning the stadium attack. The plot allegedly included a plan to fire a missile at fans in the stadium during a soccer game.



The firearms suspects confessed, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said, adding that they had been charged with supplying illegal firearms.

All of the local staff hired at the UK consulates and embassies undergo “appropriate levels of security vetting,” carried out in cooperation with the Israeli authorities, which always include criminal background checks, the embassy spokesman said.

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