Security Officials Arrest Arab Gang That Planned to Blow Up Police Station

Shabak security officials and police announced Thursday that they had, in recent weeks, arrested a gang of four Arab residents of the central Israel town of Jaljulye, who were caught selling weapons and planning terror attacks. According to security officials, the gang planned to attempt to murder police in the town, or to burn down the local police station.

The terror plot was hatched in October, during riots among Israeli Arabs in the wake of unrest on Har HaBayis, but the group apparently decided not to go through with the attacks. However, officials said, the weapons sales had been going on for many months.

Jaljulye, a prosperous Arab town adjacent to Kfar Sava in central Israel, was also where security officials in November discovered a cell of Islamic State sympathizers who were recruiting Israeli Arabs to go to Syria and fight on behalf of IS. The plot was revealed after Israeli officials arrested an Israeli Arab who was apparently also part of the gang, when he tried to fly a glider into Syria three weeks ago. The Arab launched his glider from a site in the Golan Heights used by sports enthusiasts for paragliding, and succeeded in crossing over into Syria.

In the wake of that incident on October 24, intelligence officials began investigating the identity of the Arab, who turned out to be Nadal Salah, 23, of Jaljulye. Further investigation revealed that he was part of a group that had been in touch with IS and had been planning to cross the border and fight with the terror group.