On July 25, Kikar Hashabbat reported that large Shin Bet and Israel Police forces raided a dormitory room in a sleepaway Haredi Yeshiva in Israel, and discovered an explosives lab and explosive devices (השב”כ והמשטרה עצרו תלמיד ישיבה; החשד: מעבדת נפץ). The Haredi yeshiva boy suspected of running the lab was immediately arrested and taken for questioning, while his room and the lab were scrubbed. A severe gag order was imposed on the investigation and the existence of the gag order and the suspect’s detention was extended several times, as investigators tried to figure out the purpose of the operation. The gag had been lifted on July 24, and Kikar Hashabbat reported that the detainee is the grandson of one of Israel’s biggest Lithuanian rabbis.
On Sunday, night, Kan 11 News revealed (הנין של גדולי הרבנים שנעצר על ידי השב”כ מתוודה מול המצלמה) that the student was the great-grandson of two great Lithuanian leaders: the late Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (who passed away last March), and Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman (who passed away in December 2017). Their scion is likely going to be charged with conspiring to commit a nationalistic crime, creating illegal weapons, trading illegal weapons, possessing illegal weapons, and manufacturing homemade explosives.
חשיפת “המחתרת החרדית”: הנין של גדולי הרבנים החרדים שנעצר על ידי שב”כ, מתוודה מול המצלמה על הכנת המטענים בחדרו בישיבה – במטרה לפגוע בפלסטינים
הפרויקט הבלעדי המלא של @AkivaWeisz – מחר ב-#חדשותהערב pic.twitter.com/KfrLD541I6
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) August 21, 2022
His goal was to “arm the hills with explosives” to carry out price tag operations against PA Arabs. Kan 11 will broadcast an exclusive report Monday night, during the evening news, with the young man’s confession in front of the cameras, detailing his preparation of the charges and the ideology behind the endeavor.
Despite the public channel’s attempt to present this as a “Haredi underground,” the story so far shows it was a one-man underground, albeit with grandiose aspirations to expand the franchise. The suspect, A., told the reporters: “The plan was to establish a Haredi underground. Not to puncture another tire in Sheikh Jarrah (a.k.a. Shimon HaTzadik, a majority-Arab neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem – DI). This is a systematic plan at the level of an underground.”
A. went on to say that “each load was made of gunpowder, a gas bottle, and an empty can of Pringles. Each load costs about NIS 40 ($13). The first charge I made exploded in my hands when I threw it out of the room.”
“The plan was to arm the hills, to put in each area some kind of weapon that would be easy to release if they wanted it. That’s why I didn’t involve any of the Hill Youths, they were all Haredim, because I knew that the Shin Bet had the least foothold in the Haredi yeshivas.”
Two things: 1. Turns out the Shin Bet has a foothold in the Haredi yeshivas, and, 2. It remains to be seen how many of A’s recruits were real or imagined.
Last Friday, according to Kan 11, A. was arrested once again on the suspicion that he had threatened a special police force investigator and threatened to install explosive charges inside his yeshiva building.
While we don’t yet know his motivations, it’s plausible to assume it is in response to the Bnei Brak and El Ad terror attacks as well the many ongoing assaults against Charieidim by Arabs, which are often made into viral TikTok videos.