Shin Bet arrests east Jerusalem Arab for bus-stop bombings that killed two Israelis

The alleged attacker is from east Jerusalem and reportedly confessed to carrying out the attacks that killed two Israelis on his own.

 Israeli security forces and medics gather in Jerusalem following an explosion at a bus stop which wounded at least seven people, two of them seriously, on November 23, 2022.  (photo credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)
Israeli security forces and medics gather in Jerusalem following an explosion at a bus stop which wounded at least seven people, two of them seriously, on November 23, 2022.
(photo credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Tuesday said it has arrested the perpetrator of the Jerusalem bus-stop bombings that killed two Israelis last month.

Six days after the attack, its operatives arrested Aslam Farouk, an Arab from east Jerusalem and allegedly a supporter of ISIS, on suspicion that he was involved in the attacks, the Shin Bet said. Two bombs placed at two different bus stops – one at the entrance to Jerusalem and one near the neighborhood of Ramot – detonated within half an hour of each other on November 23.

Two Israelis, Tadasa Tashume Ben Ma’ada and Arye Shechopek, were killed in the attacks.

Farouk, 26, from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Akab, recently completed his engineering studies. According to the investigation, Farouk studied radical Islamic ideology online and learned how to make explosive devices. He brought the ingredients for the explosives to the Judean Desert and carried out tests there on different bombs, the Shin Bet said.

On the day of the attacks, Farouk arrived by motorcycle at the bus stop at the entrance to Jerusalem at around 6 a.m. and placed the first bomb. He then rode to the Ramot intersection, about two kilometers away, where he placed the second device. Each bomb weighed approximately 1.5 kilograms, and they were detonated by cellphone..

 Police operate at the scene of a Jerusalem terror attack after two bombs exploded at the bus stops near the entrance to the city, November 23, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Police operate at the scene of a Jerusalem terror attack after two bombs exploded at the bus stops near the entrance to the city, November 23, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

How did the Shin Bet catch Farouk?

The suspect was identified after security forces matched his DNA with evidence at the scene of the bombings. Another suspect, a friend of Farouk, was detained on suspicion of involvement in planning another attack with an explosives belt.

The Shin Bet discovered Farouk’s motorcycle, which he had tried to clean after the bombings, as well as another bomb, weighing about 5 kg., which he had planned to place at the Ramot intersection and detonate after security forces arrived following the first explosion. Due to a technical glitch on the morning of the attack, Farouk decided to place one bomb at the site.

News of the arrest came just a day after the Shin Bet said it had prevented a massive terrorist bombing attack slated to occur within Israel. It said it had arrested several terrorist suspects in the West Bank and discovered operatives in the Gaza Strip.

 Weapons that were used by the attacker behind the Jerusalem bus bombings in November 2022. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESMAN) Weapons that were used by the attacker behind the Jerusalem bus bombings in November 2022. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESMAN)

The terrorist cell was busted and its plans thwarted on December 14, with those involved undergoing interrogations in recent weeks, the Shin Bet said. The bomb had been built, was ready for use and was seized before it could be detonated, it said.

The suspects who were arrested belong to the West Bank’s “Resistance Committees” and Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and they received help in planning the attack from terrorist operatives in the Gaza Strip, the Shin Bet said. The bomb was similar to the ones that were used in the attacks at the Jerusalem bus stops, it said.