Israeli Arab charged in foiled attack

Waroud Kasem allegedly aided terrorists in plot to bomb Ra'anana restaurant.

By DAN IZENBERG
October 29, 2006 11:38
2 minute read.
al aksa man with gun 298.88

al aksa man gun 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
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The state has charged a 20-year-old Arab Israeli woman with membership in a terrorist organization, aiding the enemy in a time of war, contact with a foreign agent, illegally carrying weapons and membership in a terrorist organization. The defendant, Varud Kassem, will be tried in Tel Aviv District Court. According to the indictment released Sunday, Kassem joined Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades in May during a visit to a Palestinian member of an Aksa cell living in Bala. During that visit, she fired a pistol. The following month, Kassem returned to Bala. The terrorist asked her if she would help smuggle weapons between Israel and the West Bank, and Kassem agreed. She also agreed to suggest places within the Green Line to plant bombs. In July, the terrorist acquired a seven kilogram bomb activated by two mobile phones. He asked Kassem and another cell member to meet him at Hawara south of Nablus, where he tried to persuade her to smuggle the bomb into Israel. She refused, saying she might be searched. Kassem than told the terrorist she would ask her cousin Muhammad Boubli to help transport the bomb to the Spaghettim restaurant in Ra'anana, where he worked. It was to be detonated there, but it never crossed the Green Line. On another occasion, Kassem met the Aksa Brigades' Ramallah head and was photographed wearing a Koran and a kerchief bearing nationalist slogans. Earlier this month, police reported a similar instance in which an Israeli Arab from Kafr Kasim confessed to knowingly driving a suicide bomber and his accomplice to a 2002 bombing that killed one woman and wounded dozens. Islam Badir, 27, said that in March 2002, he drove a man across the Green Line who later blew himself up at the My Coffee Shop Cafe at the corner of Rehov Bialik and Rehov Allenby in Tel Aviv. Like Kassem, Badir took advantage of his yellow, Israeli license plates to avoid suspicion, this time to escort a bomber across the Green Line and into Petah Tikvah. Police have frequently emphasized the connection between Palestinians working illegally in Israel and terrorist attacks. Badir became acquainted with the suicide bomber through connections made while the latter worked illegally in Israel. Similarly, Kassem helped make a connection between the terrorist group and her cousin, who was working in the restaurant illegally. Police said terrorists monitor the ways illegal workers make their way from the West Bank, and use the same methods - including cars with Israeli license plates - to cross the Green Line and carry out attacks. Israeli Jews have also been arrested in the past year for aiding terrorists. Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.

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