by Hana Levi Julian Arutz Sheva May 29, 2006
Two weeks ago, the Shin Bet security service received information about a planned suicide attack in Jerusalem. On Monday, the intelligence paid off.
Two Palestinian Authority Arabs were caught Sunday night on their way to carry out a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, announced Haruv Brigades Commander Lt.-Col. Arik Hen.
Their presence was discovered during a night patrol near the village of Burin, south of Shechem (Nablus). IDF soldiers have been covering a wide area around the Arab city after the Shin Bet (General Security Service) received an intelligence alert of the impending attack. Increased checkpoints on the roads, overnight patrols and other military measures were put into place to prevent the feared tragedy from taking place in the capital.
IDF soldiers ordered the two PA Arabs to stop. They fled instead on an off-road path, flinging away a bag containing an explosive belt as they ran. The belt carried a 7-kg. (15.5 lbs.) bomb packed with explosives, as well as nails and bolts added to maximize damage to victims. It was detonated safely by sappers.
The two would-be bombers were arrested and taken for interrogation. An IDF official said the plot was a joint Islamic Jihad/Fatah/Popular Front scheme.
The Fatah-affiliated Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror organization hurried to claim credit for the attempted attack. However, a senior official from the group was careful to add that the two operatives involved also worked in coordination with Islamic Jihad. The statements indicated the group was walking a political tightrope between the desire to claim responsibility for terrorist activity and the need to maintain a relatively low profile.
In other terrorist news, the IDF killed a terrorist Monday when he approached the electronic security fence on the Gaza border near Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Two other members of the terror team who were with him escaped. A ladder and a Kalachnikov rifle were found nearby.
Some 80 general security warnings of terrorist activity are currently being monitored, with 15 â€œfocusedâ€ warnings under close watch. Most originate in the Samaria (Shomron) and Shechem area and involve the Islamic Jihad group. Another 13 PA fugitives were arrested overnight by IDF forces as well.