A jihadi group with al-Qaeda links tried to recruit Palestinians in East Jerusalem to carry out terror attacks against high-profile targets, it was claimed this week.
According to indictments published on Wednesday, three men — who were arrested last month — were directed over the internet by a Gaza controller to plan suicide attacks on the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem and the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. Two of the recruits are residents of East Jerusalem and hold Israeli identity cards which allow them to travel freely throughout Israel. The third suspect is from a village near Jenin in the West Bank.
The suspects were directed by a man identifying himself as an operative working on behalf of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda.
The plan had been to carry out a suicide attack at the convention centre during a concert and, simultaneously, at the entrance to the US embassy.
One of the suspects, who worked as a lorry driver, was to obtain the vehicles and the others had received computer files with detailed instructions for the construction of bombs. One of them had been planning to purchase a plane ticket to Turkey from where he was supposed to have travelled to Syria to receive training at a jihadi camp