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Al-Qaeda cell arrested in plot to attack U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv

JTA, News Brief

January 22, 2014 | 12:44 pm

Tel Aviv, Israel. Credit: trots1905/Shutterstock.com

Tel Aviv, Israel. Credit: trots1905/Shutterstock.com

An al-Qaeda cell suspected of planning several terror attacks in Israel, including on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, was arrested.

A gag order on the three arrests made several weeks ago by Israel’s Shin Bet security service was lifted Wednesday by the Jerusalem Magistrate Court.

Two of the alleged terrorists are from the West Bank; the third is from eastern Jerusalem. They reportedly were planning at least two major attacks, including a suicide bombing and a truck bombing. The other target was the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.

According to reports, the cell also considered bombing a Jerusalem-area bus and kidnapping a soldier in Jerusalem. One of the terrorists reportedly received computer files containing virtual training courses on bomb manufacturing.

The cell’s operator was based in Gaza and reportedly received his orders directly from al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri.

The Shin Bet said that the men were recruited and received their orders on Skype and Facebook. None of the suspects had a previous record of terrorist activities.

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