Jerusalem Police officers arrested a Palestinian man on Thursday night just three days after he was released from prison where he served 14 years for planning to poison diners at a Jerusalem cafe in 2002, the police said.
Sufyan Bakri Abdu, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, is suspected of “incitement and supporting a terrorist organization,” a police spokesperson said, after Hamas flags were reportedly flown and calls for violence were allegedly voiced at his welcome home party earlier this week.
On Monday, Abdu completed his prison sentence. He had been convicted for leading a three-man terror cell that plotted to put a tasteless and odorless poison that would induce a heart attack in the drinks of patrons at Cafe Rimon in Jerusalem during the Second Intifada.
Upon his release, police said they would not interfere with Abdu’s friends and family celebrating his return, so long as there were no remarks made at the party that encouraged violence.
In 2002, the East Jerusalemite worked with Hamas members in Gaza via email who sent him the recipe for making the lethal poison. He was also sent instructions on how to make bombs after he initially failed to brew the lethal recipe effectively.
The team reportedly tested the poison out on cats to make sure the poison did not leave any traces.
Abdu intended to give the poison to Uthman Said Kianyah from Silwan in East Jerusalem, who worked as an assistant chef at Cafe Rimon for more than three years.
In an interrogation with Israel’s internal security agency the Shin Bet, Abdu admitted the purpose of the attack was to avenge the killing of Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh.
On Friday, a Jerusalem court ordered Abdu to remain in custody until at least Monday, police said.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.