Jerusalem truck-rammer was previously arrested for buying stolen car
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Jerusalem truck-rammer was previously arrested for buying stolen car

Investigation by security forces finds Fadi al-Qunbar had criminal record but no prior terror-related offenses

The scene of a truck ramming attack in Jerusalem in January 8, 2017. (Twitter)
The scene of a truck ramming attack in Jerusalem in January 8, 2017. (Twitter)

An investigation by Israeli security forces revealed that the driver of the truck in Sunday’s ramming attack in Jerusalem had been convicted for buying a stolen car in 2008 but had no prior history of security-related offenses, the Hebrew-language news website Ynet reported Monday afternoon.

Fadi al-Qunbar, 28, was shot and killed by soldiers and an armed tour guide after he killed four soldiers and wounded 16 by ramming his truck into a group of soldiers getting off a bus at a popular tourist site in southern Jerusalem.

Qunbar was indicted in 2010 for purchasing the stolen vehicle two years earlier for NIS 10,000 ($2,500).

Qunbar, from the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of East Jerusalem, reached a plea deal in 2012: In exchange for confessing to purchasing the stolen car, he received a suspended sentence of two years, was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and fined NIS 1,000 ($250).

At his sentencing, Qunbar told the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court that “I have been a donkey my whole life” and that “I truly apologize,” according to Ynet.

Dov Pollock, a judge at the Jerusalem’s Magistrate’s Court who was responsible for Qunbar’s case, reportedly took into account Qunbar’s clean record when deciding his punishment.

A relative shows a mobile phone photo of Fadi Qunbar, 28, outside his home in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. Qunbar was identified as the terrorist who drove a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing four and wounding 16 (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
A relative shows a mobile phone photo of Fadi Qunbar, 28, outside his home in Jerusalem, January 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Security forces are still trying to determine the specific motive for Sunday’s terror attack, as Qunbar had no known ties to Palestinian terror organizations but had espoused an ultra-conservative version of Islam, known as Salafism.

His relatives said Monday that he had been affected by a sermon at his local mosque over the weekend attacking President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“He was very angry, and said transferring the embassy would lead to war,” Qunbar’s cousin said, according to the Israel Hayom daily.

No group has claimed responsibility for the terror attack, but both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have praised the fatal truck-ramming.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday from the scene of the attack that “according to all the signs he is a supporter of the Islamic State” terror group, without elaborating further.

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