Police nab terror cell plotting to kidnap Israelis

Islamic Jihad-linked cell including 2 Israeli Arabs, 5 Palestinians planned to kidnap Israeli civilian or soldier.

Suspects in plotting to kidnap soldier 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Shin Bet)
Suspects in plotting to kidnap soldier 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Shin Bet)
Police and the Shin Bet General Security Service in January arrested a terror cell they say plotted and failed repeatedly to kidnap an Israeli soldier or civilian to hold for ransom, police announced on Sunday.
The cell is affiliated with Islamic Jihad, national police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, and includes two Israeli Arabs, Anas Jabareen, from Umm al-Fahm and, Yussef Hassan Yussef Waradeh, 34, from Kalansua, as well as five Palestinians from Jenin.
According to the Shin Bet, the three chief suspects are Majdie Agbariya, 19, of Jenin, Tufik Hidar Tufik Agbariya, 18, from Jenin, and Waradeh.
The cell was arrested by Shin Bet agents and Border Police undercover officers on January 1st, sitting in their car near the Ayal checkpoint in the West Bank, east of Kfar Saba.
Waradeh reportedly had a toy gun on him, and his arrest helped lead police and the Shin Bet to the other suspects.
The three men had been in the vehicle for a few hours, after another failed attempt to kidnap an Israeli.
The Central District Attorney submitted an indictment with the Lod District Court against Waradeh and Jabareen on Sunday for their involvement with the cell.
Waradeh was charged with membership in and giving assistance to an illegal organization, contact with foreign agents, conspiracy to commit a felony and attempted kidnapping for the purpose of murder or extortion.
Jabareen was charged with assisting an illegal organization and as an accessory to attempted kidnapping for the purpose of murder or extortion.
The Haifa District Attorney's office is expected to submit a separate second indictment against Jabareen for crimes related to illegal possession and use of weapons later on Sunday.
The suspects from Jenin were expected to be brought up on charges at a later date in the West Bank military courts.
The indictment said that Waradeh was in financial distress in the second half of 2012 and appealed to Majdie Ajabariya, of the Jenin terror cell and who he knew previously, to assist him.
Majdie gave Waradeh NIS 10,000 and later asked Waradeh if he would help with kidnapping an IDF soldier, said the indictment.
Although Waradeh refused at first, noted the indictment, he eventually agreed and met with Majdie several times, while continuing to receive financial assistance.
At one point, Majdie threatened Waradeh at gun point to return him money he had "loaned" him and denied planning to kidnap an IDF soldier, only for Waradeh to volunteer to help with the kidnapping, said the indictment.
The cell allegedly traveled around by car in the Central and Sharon regions on December 30 and 31, looking for a victim.
They stayed overnight at Jabareen's house on December 30, while he had full-knowledge of their scheme, said the indictment.  
According to the Shin Bet, when they were arrested, the men said they had already spent two days trying to kidnap Israelis from bus stations and train depots in Israel, but could not manage to convince anyone to get in their car.
They finally came up with the idea of trying to kidnap Israelis coming home from New Years Eve parties, a plan that also failed.
The men then went to their car near the Ayal checkpoint and had their own party until the late hours of the night, before falling asleep with the intention of setting out from the checkpoint in the morning to try again to kidnap Israelis. It was then, at around 3:00 in the morning, that they were arrested, according to the indictment.
In their vehicle, police and Shin Bet officers said they found rope, duct tape, ski masks, and a toy gun, all of which they said they hoped to use to carry out a kidnapping.
The cell had already prepared a safe house in Jenin, where they planned to hold an Israeli hostage until their demands were met, the Shin Bet said.
The state asked to remand Waradeh and Jabareen to police custody until the end of the proceedings.