(JNS.org) Israeli security forces apprehended 14 members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group suspected of being behind the thwarted bus bombing attempt in Bat Yam in late December.
According to the Shin Bet, the Islamic Jihad members admitted during interrogations of planning a major terrorist attack in Israel. The four leading suspects are Yosef Salamah, 22, Sahaha Tamari, 24, his brother Hamadi Tamari, 21 and Sami Harimi, 20.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the Tamari brothers along with Salamah, created the bomb using 2kg of improvised explosives with nails and screws placed inside a pressure cooker to be remotely detonated by a cell phone.
The Shin Bet said Harimi illegally smuggled the bomb from the West Bank into Israel using a Bedouin acquaintance for transportation. Then after praying at a mosque, he planted the bomb on the bus.
The bombing was thwarted when passengers noticed a black bag and alerted the driver, who then evacuated the bus before it exploded.
A senior IDF official told Ynet, that the group was also planning another major attack in Tel Aviv.
In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the security forces for their “quick action” and also noted that one of the suspects as a Palestinian Authority police officer, which Netanyahu said was “further proof of direct involvement of people in the Palestinian Authority in terror activity.”