Police, Shin Bet quietly intensify J'lem bomb probe

Chief of police places all districts on highest state of alert; 2,000 officers to be deployed to secure Jerusalem Marathon.

roadblock check point 521 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
roadblock check point 521
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) are continuing a joint investigation into Wednesday’s Jerusalem terrorist bombing – in which a British woman, Mary Jane Gardner, 59, was murdered and over 40 people wounded – and are keeping details of the investigation far from the public eye.
Gardner was studying at the capital’s Hebrew University and lived in the dormitories.
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Bomb squad unit officers are piecing together details of how the explosive device, planted in a phone booth opposite a bustling bus station, was detonated, while intelligence agencies are working on finding out the identity of the culprits and their likely whereabouts.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post about the investigation, the head of the police’s Operations Branch, Cmdr. Nissim Mor, said Thursday that police were working closely with the Shin Bet to find out “who planted the bomb, and was it detonated by remote control or timer?” He said the answers to these questions were still unavailable.
In the meantime, police went on terror alert across country Thursday, after Insp.-Gen. David Cohen placed all police districts on the highest state of alert, Level 3. Districts nationwide were ordered to set up mobile checkpoints around central arteries, as well as smaller roads.
In the capital, 2,000 officers will be deployed to secure Friday’s Jerusalem Marathon, Mor added. Officers are on standby to assist emergency services and the IDF in dealing with security incidents.
The police presence has been beefed up in crowded areas in order to increase the personal security of members of the public, Mor added.
Officers have been ordered to locate Palestinians who have illegally entered Israel and return them to the West Bank – as terrorists could exploit routes used by illegal migrant workers.
The police’s emergency 100 phone service has also been fortified with additional operators.
A Border Police spokesman said forces around Jerusalem and the security fence have increased their scope of operations.