2 East Jerusalemites charged with Islamic State bomb plot
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2 East Jerusalemites charged with Islamic State bomb plot

Pair accused of planning to build explosive device to detonate against Israeli army vehicle

Illustrative: A Palestinian man walks past Israeli police officers at the entrance to the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem on December 2, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative: A Palestinian man walks past Israeli police officers at the entrance to the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem on December 2, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Two residents of an Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood were charged Monday with attempting to attack Israeli security forces with an explosive in the name of the Islamic State terror group.

Mouasab Elian, 23, and Samir Abed Rabbo, 38, both of Sur Baher, are accused of plotting to manufacture an explosive and detonate it against a vehicle belonging to Israeli security forces in 2015.

The indictment, served by the state prosecutor in Jerusalem District Court, charges the pair with several offenses, including membership in an illegal organization, membership in a terror group, supporting a terror group and contacting foreign agents.

According to the indictment, Elian attempted to travel to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State after becoming a supporter of the terror group through a religious group he studied with in Jerusalem in 2014.

However, he only made it as far as Jordan, where he was arrested, interrogated and deported back to Israel before he could acquire a Jordanian passport to go to Turkey and then on to Syria.

Back in Israel he started collecting money in an effort to travel directly from Israel to Turkey. Elian allegedly also looked into joining the Syria-based terror group through its affiliate terror organization in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

At some point in 2015, he met Abed Rabbo, who had learned Islamic State ideology, along with some knowledge of explosives, from the Internet, and recruited him to help him make a bomb, according to the court filing.

Among the instruments the two are alleged of having purchased in order to manufacture the bomb were a cellphone meant to be used as a remote control to detonate the bomb, a coffee grinder for grinding the materials needed to produce the explosive, a voltmeter and iron oxide powder.

They allegedly met to discuss other equipment they needed to complete the manufacturing of the bomb and to discuss their plans for an attack.

On Friday, four other East Jerusalem residents were indicted on suspicion of attempting to join Islamic State.

It was not immediately clear if the two groups were linked.

According to the indictment, filed by state prosecutors Friday in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, the four, all men in the 20s, had organized a pro-IS “study group” that met regularly and planned terror attacks against Israelis.

They face charges of membership in and support for a terror group, and prosecutors are seeking a remand until the conclusion of the proceedings against them.

At least two of the four were caught trying to leave Israel for Turkey in an effort to join IS.

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