1. During June and July 2008 six young Arab men, two of them Israeli citizens and four residents of East Jerusalem , were detained by the Israeli security forces. The six, some of them students at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem , were members of a closed religious network in Jerusalem which planned to set up an Al-Qaeda network and carry out terrorist attacks against Israel . On July 18 they were indicted in the Jerusalem district magistrate’s court.
2. The six are:
i) Ibrahim Nashef , 22, from Taibeh , studying physics and computers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem .
ii) Muhammad Nijm , 24, from Nazareth , studying chemistry at the Hebrew University .
iii) Yussuf Sumarin , 21, from Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem .
iv) Anis Shweiki , 21, from Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem .
v) Kamal Abu Qweidar , 22, from Jerusalem ‘s Old City .
vi) Ahmad Shweiki , 22, from the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem .
3. Interrogation of the six revealed that they belonged to a radical Muslim group which customarily met in Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem . They planned to establish an Al-Qaeda network in Israel to implement the organization’s ideology. In February 2008 the group joined Al-Qaeda. Its leader was Yussuf Soumarin , a resident of Jerusalem and a former political prisoner who had recently been released from an Israeli jail.
4. The network’s activities consisted of enlisting operatives and planning terrorist attacks in Israel (which were not carried out). Muhammad Nijm , a Hebrew University student, lived in a student dormitory and surveilled a helicopter landing pad near the university’s stadium. He used his cellular phone to photograph helicopters landing and taking off. He also asked an Al-Qaeda-affiliated Internet site about the possibility of downing President Bush’s helicopter . In January 2008, after having collected the information, he decided to try to down the helicopter of an important public figure landing on the pad (at that time, President Bush was visiting Israel ).
5. The six absorbed their radical Islamic ideology from various Internet sites, some of them affiliated with Al-Qaeda . Instructions for manufacturing explosives and explosive devices downloaded from the Internet were found in some of their computers. It is yet another example of the intensive use Al-Qaeda and other jihad groups make of the Internet for indoctrination and operations, including the enlisting and activating of terrorist operatives around the world. 2
6. The group’s exposure is another in a series of recent discoveries of Israeli Arab groups which support radical Islamic ideology and plan to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel . In that context, it should be noted that two residents of the Bedouin town of Rahat , members of the Islamic Movement, were recently detained. They had used the Internet to contact global jihad and Al-Qaeda networks, and even collected information for them about possible Israeli targets. 3
1 According to an Israel Security Agency report
2 For further information see our July 14, 2008 Bulletin entitled "Terrorism and Internet: a US Senate report analyzes the extensive use made by Al-Qaeda of the Internet in its war for hearts and minds” .
3 For further information see our June 22, 3008 Bulletin entitled "Terrorism and Internet” .