Inspired by the murder of an Israeli teenager last year, 10 terrorists planned to carry out deadly attacks with support from Iran and Hezbollah.
Israel’s Shin Bet security service said Tuesday that 10 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group were arrested after they were discovered to be planning attacks throughout Israel.
A Shin Bet statement said the 10 were divided into two terror cells that received funding and training from Iran and the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon that is armed, funded and trained by Iran,
The Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, said the cells intended to hit Jewish targets, “including an attack in the town of Harish and kidnapping a soldier to use as leverage to get prisoners released from Israeli prison.”
One of the terrorist leaders, identified as Yazen Abu Salah, 23, purchased weapons and recruited other terrorists who would have pulled the triggers.
The terrorists used a front organization called “Al-Shabaab Alkoumi Al-Araby,” which sounds similar to many Arab soccer clubs.
During his interrogation Abu Salah said he was inspired to plan and execute the attacks by a similar act of terror in August of 2019 in which Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb was murdered.
Investigators also discovered from Abu Salah that Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have been working to promote terrorism against Israel, with the terrorist admitting that he was scheduled to attend military training in Lebanon to learn about shooting, how to make bombs and how to work a drone – most likely to gather intelligence for attacks.
Abu Salah’s cousin Muhammad was also arrested and revealed that the Al-Shabaab Alkoumi Al-Araby network, which extends to Syria, holds joint exercises with Iranian elements, including Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian military, which are also sources of financing for the organization’s activities.
The Shin Bet said the cousins led them to eight other Palestinians in the two cells who were all arrested on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks against Israeli targets.
The investigation underscored the deep links between Iran, Hezbollah and the PFLP, which was founded in the 1960s by radical George Habash – known as the “godfather of Middle Eastern terrorism.”
The PFLP carried out some of the most brazen airplane hijackings, including the September 1970 triple hijacking of passenger planes that were subsequently blown up in the Jordanian desert.