Israel Police prevented another young Arab from carrying out a deadly terror attack Sunday (June 7) on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.
A young man approximately age 25 moving around furtively aroused the suspicions of the security unit guarding the Temple Mount as he approached the Cotton Gate leading to the holy site.
The suspect apparently had second thoughts, however, and instead decided to leave the area when he noticed that his behavior had attracted the attention of police guarding the area. Nevertheless, police officers passed along the information by radio to other security personnel deployed in the area — and it’s a good thing they did.
Police who were stationed at the Iron Gate spotted the suspect once again trying to enter the Temple Mount. This time they detained him and called the commander attached to the site, Police Superintendant Shlomi Tobol, who began to ask the young man what he was doing there.
It’s important to know that many Israeli police officers — especially those assigned to guard the holy sites in Jerusalem and others deployed to areas with Arabic-speaking populations — speak fluent Arabic and in fact are also intimately familiar with the culture. There is a right way and a wrong way to behavior, to converse, and to ask a question in any society and when trying to get information to prevent a deadly terror attack, a chat with a witness or even a possible suspect is no exception.
This young suspect told Tobol during the extended conversation that followed that he had “formed within his heart” a resolve to carry out a terror attack at the site and stab one or several Jews, after having completed his final prayers at the Temple Mount. He also confessed to having purchased a knife and other equipment for the attack, which he had hidden away in a bag under a bush near the Damascus Gate in the Old City. After searching the area, police found knives and screwdrivers with which the suspect claimed he intended to carry out his attack.
The suspect was arrested and taken to the “David Precinct” for further questioning. The lethal evidence was confiscated as well.
The Temple Mount police commander praised the members of his unit for their quick and effective action. “I am proud of our police who were alert and operated smoothly to prevent this threat, which could have instead ended in a deadly terror attack,” Tobol said.