Foiled terrorist attacks during the lull in the fighting: Major terrorist attacks foiled during the months of January, February and March 2005

March 2005

During the month of March, the Israel Security Agency (ISA) detained for questioning Ashraf Daiah, a Hamas operative residing in the Old City of Jerusalem , recruited and handled by the Hamas operative headquarters in Gaza City . During his questioning, Daiah admitted that he had been recruited for the purpose of carrying out terrorist attacks in Israel .

  • On March 17, 2005 , Ashraf Hamdi Kamel Daiah, born in 1976, resident of the Old City of Jerusalem, was detained for questioning by the ISA. His father and brother, both residents of Gaza City , belong to the local Hamas' infrastructure. 
  • In his questioning, Ashraf Daiah admitted that during a family visit to Gaza he had held in the winter of 2004, his brother offered him to join Hamas' operative activity. After he agreed, Ashraf was taken to an apartment in Gaza City owned by Hamas' operative infrastructure. In the apartment, he met with several senior Hamas operatives who trained him in preparing explosive charges. After his return to Jerusalem , he was to begin forming an operative infrastructure that would carry out terrorist attacks. He was directed to hire an apartment in the city, recruit additional operatives, and purchase a computer in order to contact the operatives in Gaza via the Internet and receive their instructions and guidance. 
  • Upon his return to Jerusalem , Ashraf approached a member of his family, Ahmed Sa'id Muhammad Daiah, a resident of the city, with an offer to take part in Hamas' operative activity and serve as a suicide bomber on Hamas' behalf. The family member, appalled by the proposition, exposed Ashraf's affiliation with Hamas' operative infrastructure to other family members, thus bringing the activity to a lengthy halt. 
  • After several months, the Hamas operatives from Gaza renewed contact with Ashraf Daiah and asked him to once again establish regular communication with them. He was to go on an additional trip to Gaza , the purpose of which was to undergo lengthy training in explosive charges; his detention, however, cut this short. His family member, Ahmed Daiah, was detained as well. 
  • This episode demonstrates once again the appeal of residents of East Jerusalem for the terrorist organizations. Their relative advantage is the relative ease they are approved to enter the Gaza Strip out of humanitarian concerns. The accessibility of residents of East Jerusalem is used by the terrorist organizations in Gaza (Hamas, in the case at hand) for transferring operative know-how and forming infrastructures in Israel and the West Bank. 
January-February 2005 

During the months of January and February, three terrorists, all members of a PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine ) cell from the village of Bir Zeit (in the Ramallah region), were detained. Their detention foiled the PFLP's intent to carry out a double terrorist attack at the Armored Corps Museum , located adjacent to Latrun junction. The cell also planned to shoot at an IDF jeep in order to abduct the soldiers' bodies. In their questioning, the PFLP operatives stated that the purpose of the terrorist attacks was to thwart the Palestinian Authority elections. 

  • Yusuf George Daud Kila, a 27-year-old PFLP operative from Bir Zeit, was arrested on February 11, 2005 by the Israeli security forces. This followed the arrest of two other cell members in January: Nidal Muhammad Yusuf Abu Alma ( January 9, 2005 ) and Ubai Fahmi Bassil al-Aboudi ( January 20, 2005 ).
  • In his questioning, Kila admitted that the three cell members, guided by Bashar Abd al-Latif Aref Hanani, a senior PFLP operative, had been planning to carry out a terrorist attack at the Armored Corps Museum, located adjacent to Latrun junction, using two suicide bombers and a car bomb. The location of the terrorist attack was suggested by Kila, who was familiar with it since he had worked in the vicinity of the Latrun Monastery in the years 2000-2001. In his questioning, Abu Alma stated that his role was to rig the car with explosives and detonate it with Kila's assistance. Bashar Hanani was supposed to see to the recruitment of the two suicide bombers and to the obtaining of the explosives. Ubai's role was to transport the two suicide bombers.
  • The questioning revealed an additional plan to perpetrate a shooting attack against an IDF jeep on the Ramallah bypass road. Abu Alma admitted that the three had planned to take the soldiers' weapons after the shooting, abduct their bodies and conceal them in abandoned houses in the older neighborhood of Bir Zeit. 1 For that purpose, said Abu Alma, he and Kila had searched for an appropriate place to conceal the bodies in the Bir Zeit region. Abu Alma stated that he had asked Ubai to survey the location in order to see whether IDF vehicles traveled through the area at regular intervals.