Thursday, September 09, 2004

Tanzim fugitive planned attack at Jerusalem cafe

A combined Shin Bet and IDF operation in Bethlehem on August 5 resulted in the arrest of Tanzim fugitive Murad Ala'an, thus thwarting a suicide bomb attack on the Cafe Filter in Jerusalem where he was employed as a cook.

Details released for publication on Wednesday revealed that Ala'an, 20, who lived in the Al Aida refugee camp next to Bethlehem, was an Israeli identity card holder. He was granted the Israeli ID during a period of time when he lived with his mother in east Jerusalem.

Six months prior to his arrest, Ala'an was recruited by Fadi Tsalahat, a member of the Palestinian security forces, to join the Fatah Tanzim. Tsalahat told Ala'an that he, together with Nabil Ahmed Abayat, a senior Tanzim member, were searching for a suicide bomber to launch an attack in Jerusalem.

Ala'an told investigators that at first he did not acquiesce to Tsalahat's request, but a week later, distressed by rumors that he was collaborating with Israeli intelligence, he decided to go ahead.

Ala'an told Tsalahat that he would launch the attack in his work place at the Cafe Filter. He confessed to investigators that upon seeing the explosives belt that had been prepared for the attack he regretted having consented to carry out the attack.

Tsalahat was arrested by security forces a day after Ala'an's arrest on August 6."