February 29, 2004
In an alarming development, IDF troops uncovered a terrorist cell made up of
two 13-year-olds as well as a 14-year-old who were in the midst of planning a
terror attack. The three had left letters for their parents about their
decision to become ‘martyrs’.
The three young terrorists were on their way to carry out the attack when
they were apprehended at the Jalameh Checkpoint, close to pre-1967 Israel,
Thursday. They were armed with makeshift weapons.
The boys are the youngest terrorists to ever be arrested for planning suicide
bombing attacks. Relatives told the Associated Press that the young
terrorists were angry about the construction of Israel’s security fence. Parent of one
of the boys expressed outrage that terrorist groups had recruited such young
people for an attack.
Mohammed Abu Mahsen said his 13-year-old son, Tarek, and his friends, Jaffer
Hussein, 13, and Ibrahim Suafta, 14, had left a letter saying they planned to
carry out a shooting attack at an Israeli checkpoint or army base. “I want to
carry out an attack against Sharon’s fence. This fence, the Islamic Jihad
youth movement will blow it up as well,” Tarek wrote. “We want you to give out
candies and not cry for us and hold a big funeral protest,” wrote the boy,
referring to what has become the ritual for families of suicide terrorists.
The younger boys claimed to be members of Islamic Jihad, while Suafta said he
belonged to the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a group linked to Yasser Arafat’s
Fatah terror group.
Most suicide terrorists have been in their 20s. The youngest suicide
terrorist was 16, though younger children have been used regularly to deliver weapons
and distract soldiers. In September, 2003 two youths, 15 and 16-year-old PA
residents, were apprehended by IDF forces in Gaza on their way to pick up two
bags left near the security fence containing M-16 rifles. They were each paid
100 shekels by terror groups for their services.
The area IDF commander pointed out that youths have recently been used to
penetrate certain areas close to the security fence in Gaza, the hope being that
when the soldiers pursue the teenagers the Arabs will draw the soldiers into
an ambush and either shoot or detonate a large bomb, killing the soldiers.