Twenty-six-year-old engineering student from eastern Jerusalem downloaded Islamist material and bomb-making instructions from the internet.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
The perpetrator behind the deadly twin bombing attacks at Jerusalem bus stops in late November has been arrested by the Shin Bet, the security agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Shin Bet named 26-year-old Islam Faroukh, a native of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood Kfar Aqab who holds Israeli residency rights, as the terrorist responsible for the bombings, which killed a 17-year-old dual Israeli-Canadian citizen and a 50-year-old father of six who had immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia.
An additional 18 people were wounded in the attacks.
Faroukh had reportedly pledged allegiance to the ISIS terror group and downloaded materials affiliated with radical Islamic ideology, and is believed to have acted alone.
A recent graduate in engineering from an Israeli educational institution, Faroukh created the bombs based on instructions he found online.
The Shin Bet said it had identified Faroukh by fingerprints he had left behind, which were found on the explosive devices detonated near the entrance to Jerusalem and at the Ramot junction.
An additional bomb in Jerusalem planted by Faroukh, which he planned to activate once security forces arrived at the scene of the bombing, failed to detonate due to a technical malfunction.
He reportedly planned out the attack for weeks in advance, plotting a route which saw him reach the scenes of the bombings on an electric scooter at 6 a.m.
Faroukh then fled to a cave in the Judean Desert, where he had prepared a change of clothes and stored food, water, and weapons.
The Shin Bet and Israeli police discovered additional explosive material in the cave, suggesting that Faroukh intended to carry out additional attacks.
During the Shin Bet interrogation, Faroukh said “Islamic ideology” was his motivation for the attack. He did not express remorse, the security agency said.
“I commend the ISA, the Israel Police, the IDF and all the security forces for their investigation that led to the apprehending of this terrorist,” said outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid in a statement.
“We will continue to fight terrorism and deal with terrorists and those who dispatch them to the fullest extent of the law. The State of Israel will do its utmost to deliver security for its citizens.
“I send condolences, on my behalf and on behalf of the Government of Israel, to the families of young Aryeh Shechopek and Tadasa Tashume, who were murdered in the double bombing, may their memories be for a blessing.”
While the Shin Bet was tracking down Faroukh, they learned that a close friend of his was plotting a major suicide bombing attack at Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station.
Hamed Othman, 23, was arrested several weeks ago and charged today for that plot.
Two American citizens living in Israel, including an international law professor, who shared radical Islamist material with Othman were arrested and interrogated during the course of the investigation.
Both have been deported to the U.S., the Shin Bet said in a statement.
On Monday, the Shin Bet announced that it had foiled an additional bombing plot and arrested four members of a terror cell associated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.
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