ISA Thwarts Hezbollah Attempts at Recruiting Palestinians from Judea and Samaria and among Israeli Arabs
(Communicated by the ISA)
The following has been cleared for publication:
The ISA, in conjunction with the IDF and ISA, has recently foiled several attempts at organizing terrorist cells, the members of which – residents of Judea and Samaria – were recruited, via Facebook, by Hezbollah operatives residing in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The arrest of the aforesaid members thwarted the carrying out of terrorist attacks in Israel.
It should be noted that Hezbollah has been very active in recent years in recruiting members in Israel and in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip to commit terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. In addition to instructions to shooting and suicide attacks against Israeli targets, the members were instructed to assist in recruiting additional members on behalf of the organization.
Following are details regarding the terrorist infrastructures as well as the recent arrests:
Terrorist cell from the Kalkilya area that was instructed to carry out an attack against an IDF patrol
The cell was led by Amad Mustafa Kamal Hindi, born in 1998, resident of Kalkilya, who was recruited to Hezbollah in December 2015 via the “Palestine Alhura” profile on Facebook, which includes anti-Israel and pro-jihad content.
During the investigation it was learned that Hindi had been in contact with his Hezbollah handler, codenamed “Bilal”, via Facebook and afterwards via an email account which his handler instructed him to open. His handler later sent him an encryption program in order to facilitate secret communication.
Hindi was directed to recruit cell members and carry out activity against Israeli targets including a shooting attack against an IDF patrol in the Kalkilya area.
Hindi recruited he following persons to his cell (all are residents of Kalkilya):
* Muhammad Majd Muhammad Amin Daoud, born in 1994, a Hamas member who assisted in recruiting additional cell members;
* Taher Muhammad Mahmoud Nofal, born in 1994, who provided the cell with materials for making bombs;
* Islam Iyad Zahir Abu Shaib, born in 1995, who gathered information on military patrols in the Kalkilya area; and
* Bara’a Iyad Muhammad Said Hamad, born in 1997, who assisted in making the bombs.
Hindi’s cell began to collect information on military patrols in the Kalkilya area, trained on hunting rifles and trained in making improvised explosive devices.
Members of the cell were arrested in early June 2016 before carrying out their planned attack. The cell members were indicted in the Judea Military Court.
Militants who were recruited by Hezbollah in the Gaza Strip and instructed to carry out shooting and suicide attacks:
Muhammad Fayiz Abu Jadian, a Hezbollah member from the Gaza Strip, recruited – separately and via Facebook – a series of members from Judea and Samaria who were instructed to carry out terrorist attacks. Most of them received – via secret email accounts that they were instructed to open – an encryption program to continue secret communication with Hezbollah. Their details are as follows:
* Osama Nu’af Sid Najm, born in 1980, a resident of Kablan in Samaria, among the founders of the student arm of Ahmed Jibril’s group in Judea and Samaria. He was recruited to Hezbollah via Facebook, received funds from Hezbollah and was instructed to carry out attacks including a suicide attack against an Israeli bus. He also recruited additional members to carry out attacks. During his investigation, it was learned that he had been recruited by Abu Jadian, who directed him to open a secret email account. He was in contact – via this account – with Hezbollah members in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Later, he also received an encryption program in order to be in contact with his handlers in Lebanon.
Najm was instructed to recruit a terrorist cell and carry out attacks against Israeli targets including a suicide attack against an Israeli bus. He received $900 from Hezbollah for his activity, which he carried out until his arrest.
During his investigation it was learned that together with Louis Taysir Ali Salameh from the Gaza Strip, Najm was in contact with Yusuf Muhammad Yusuf Hajajrah, an Ahmed Jibril militant from Syria with whom he began to advance the establishment of a Jibril terrorist cell in Samaria in order to carry out attacks against Israeli targets.
Najm was arrested on 17 March 2016 before carrying out the attack. He was indicted in Judea Military Court for offenses including membership and activity in an illegal organization, contact with the enemy and bringing enemy funds into the area.
* Ma’aman Azzam Abdul Rahman Nashrati, born in 1994, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp, who had previously been involved in disturbances. He was recruited to Hezbollah via Facebook and instructed to acquire an M-16 and carry out a shooting attack against IDF forces near Jenin.
During his investigation, it was learned that he had been recruited by Abu Jadin, with whom he was in contact by telephone. Abu Jadian instructed him to remove his name and photo from his Facebook profile In order to make it difficult for him to be located by the security forces. He opened a secret email account through which he received an encryption program in order to maintain secret contact with Hezbollah handlers in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
He was instructed to acquire weapons and carry out a shooting attack against security forces in the area of his Jenin refugee camp residence. He was promised that he would be paid NIS 30,000 after carrying out the attack. He was also instructed to establish a terrorist cell.
It was further learned during his investigation that he had previously made bombs and thrown them at security forces that had entered the Jenin refugee camp.
Nashrati was arrested on 31 May 2016 before carrying out the attack. He was indicted in Judea Military Court.
* Mustafa Ali Mahmoud Basharat, born in 1967, a resident of Tamun/Dotan. He had previously been imprisoned for his activity in the PFLP. He had been recruited to Hezbollah via Facebook and had been instructed to carry out terrorist attacks.
During his investigation it was learned that he had been recruited by Abu Jadian with whom he was in telephone contact. He opened a secret email account and received an encryption program in order to be in contact with Hezbollah handlers in Lebanon. In the framework of his contacts with them he expressed readiness to assist Hezbollah in any way including the carrying out of attacks and gathering intelligence on attack targets. Basharat, who noted to his handlers that he had 30 years’ experience in security activity, expressed great willingness to recruit additional members for Hezbollah and even noted that he was interested in learning how to make explosives.
Basharat was arrested on 2 June 2016 before carrying out any attacks. He was indicted in Judea Military Court for offenses including activity and membership in an illegal organization.
Hezbollah activity regarding Israeli Arabs
The following has been cleared for publication:
In recent months Hezbollah has been in contact via various pro=Palestinian Facebook profiles with Israel Arab citizens in order to recruit them for terrorist activity. These attempts were discovered by the ISA which was in contact with the citizens, who signed documents in which it was made clear that continued contact with Hezbollah constituted an offense.
The aforesaid Facebook profiles were discovered. Hezbollah’s method was that following private correspondence, a recruitment proposal would be made. This method was used not only among Israeli Arabs but also among Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. It will be recalled that in December 2015, a terrorist cell was arrested in Tulkarm. Its leader admitted to having been recruited to Hezbollah via Facebook profile of Juad Nasrallah, the son of Hezbollah’s Secretary General.
It will be noted that Hezbollah has been declared an illegal organization; any contact with it and its members constitutes a severe offense.
In recent years, Hezbollah Unit 133 has tried to build terrorist infrastructures in Israel and in Judea and Samaria, to date without success. As part of these attempts it recruited – via the Internet and long-range handling – members who were instructed to carry out attacks against Israeli targets including buses and military units and to set up terrorist cells to carry out attacks.
One of Hezbollah’s goals is continue carrying out terrorist attacks, in the recent period, from afar, without giving prominence to its involvement. It sought to increase incitement and entice the Palestinian population into carrying out terrorist attacks in return for cash payments.
The transfer of funds from Lebanon to Judea and Samaria, as well as the recruitment of members from Judea and Samaria, was carried out by Hezbollah operatives in the Gaza Strip who also assisted in recruiting and handling of the new members.
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