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Friday, July 18, 2008 

An al-Qaeda cell at the Hebrew University

Police arrested several Islamist students there who were plotting to attack a US helicopter:
(IsraelNN.com) The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and Israeli police have arrested and charged six Israeli-Arabs, among them Hebrew University students, for planning an Al-Qaeda attack on a senior US official. The group, including four residents of eastern Jerusalem, are suspected of operating an al-Qaeda cell in Israel's capital and planning to shoot down a helicopter carrying a senior US official.

The six suspects were identified by police as:
  • Ibrahim Nashef, 22, of Tayibe: Physics and computer sciences student at the Hebrew University;
  • Muhammad Najem, 24, of Nazareth: Chemistry student at the Hebrew University;
  • Anas Shawiki, 21, of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber;
  • Kamal Abu Kwaider, 22, of Jerusalem's Old City;
  • Yusef Sumarin, 21, of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina;
  • Ahmed Shawiki, 21, of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat.
Police and prosecutors charged all the suspects with membership in a terror organization. Some of them will also be tried for aiding the enemy at a time of war, possessing propaganda material, promoting a terror organization, and soliciting others to join a terror organization.

The indictments, filed against them on Friday, reveal that the six used to meet at the al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount. They allegedly surfed al-Qaeda websites, where they found instructions for producing explosive devices.

Eyeing Bush's Chopper
According to evidence, one of the detainees, Muhammad Najem, lived in a Hebrew University dormitory overlooking the university's stadium, which also serves as a helicopter landing pad. Najem watched the landing ground as a Presidential helicopter touched down in the course of President Bush's January 2008 visit to Israel, with the intent of shooting it down. At the same time, the suspect allegedly sought instructions on the internet for shooting down a landing helicopter, and he took mobile-phone pictures of the presidential helicopter's landing. A "senior American official" was on board the helicopter at the time.
I think that senoir official they're talking about was none other than Dubya himself. Because of this, he had to change plans for coming here, as there was clearly danger lurking in the vicinity.

More on this at Hot Air.

Update: thanks to Haveil Havalim carnival for linking.

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