6 J'lem suicide attacks thwarted in '05

Top cop says city remains terror attack epicenter; last bombing was in 2004.

bombing 88 (photo credit: )
bombing 88
(photo credit: )
Six Palestinian suicide bombings were thwarted in Jerusalem last year, Jerusalem Police Chief Lt.-Cmdr. Ilan Franco revealed Thursday. The would-be bombers were caught both en route to the city and in the city itself, the police chief said during an annual Jerusalem police briefing. In addition, 10 would-be Palestinian attackers were arrested in the villages in the West Bank the day before they planned to set out to Jerusalem to carry out their attacks, Franco added. The last Palestinian suicide bombing in Jerusalem was in September 2004 in the city's northern Fr Hill intersection in which two Border Policemen were killed while trying to intercept a female bomber. The city police chief cited the security barrier going up around the capitol as one of the primary reasons for the drop in terror last year. He noted, however, that the barrier around Jerusalem is only fifty percent complete, in part as the result of pending legal appeals, with police expecting the structure to be "in a very advanced stage" by early next year. "The city of Jerusalem is still very porous in certain rather large sections," he said. Indeed, Palestinian suicide bombers who have attacked other Israeli cities in the last year entered the country via Jerusalem. Despite the drop in large-scale terror attacks in Jerusalem last year, the city's police chief noted that there was an increase in low-level terror attacks in the city, including knifings and firebombings during this period. Franco added that there remained "no small number" of general intelligence warnings over impending terror attacks in Jerusalem, stressing that the capital remained the epicenter of planned terror attacks in Israel.