A man was remanded in custody for a week on Monday on suspicion of planning an attack on the mayor of Petah Tikva, while another three were remanded for up to eight days for the theft of weapons from an army base near Gedera.
The two cases were discovered by an undercover agent, identified as "SB," who began working for the police after being arrested for robbery three months ago, police said.
SB was "recruited" to place a bomb under the vehicle of Mayor Yitzhak Ohayon by a senior unnamed criminal, who felt humiliated after the demolition of an unlicensed building he owned. The suspect, who knew SB as a fellow criminal, asked him to buy explosives for the bomb. The suspect is well-known in the Sharon area as an underworld arbitrator and has been identified with a criminal organization by central police.
In the past, Ohayon had complained about threats on his life and family. After discovering the car-bomb plot, police provided the mayor with open and undercover protection.
While preventing the attack on Ohayon, SB also helped solve the robbery of 40 weapons from an army base, which took place at the end of January. In a joint operation between the central region's Central Investigative Unit (CIU) and the Military Police, the undercover agent was instructed to link up with a known illegal arms dealer, with the intention of buying the stolen weapons from him.
After gaining the dealer's trust, SB bought an M16 automatic rifle with a grenade launcher attached to it, which the police then identified as one that had been stolen from the base.
The agent set up another deal in order to learn the whereabouts of the other weapons and bought another 10 M16s with grenade launchers.
Because police feared that the other missing weapons would soon be sold to criminals across the country, SB set up another meeting for Sunday, when police arrested the arms dealer. However, the police have not yet recovered the other 29 weapons.
Teams of detectives and military policemen also arrested two people suspected of carrying out the robbery, one of whom is a soldier. In addition, police arrested five other people SB had implicated, including the man accused of planning the attack on Ohayon. The other four suspects are not linked to the robbery or the assassination attempt and were arrested for minor crimes.