Shin Bet says it busted Turkey-based Hamas ring planning attacks

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Shin Bet security agency says four Palestinian students from the West Bank have been detained over plans to carry out attacks on behalf of the Hamas terror group.

According to the agency, Ahmed Mahmoud Abu Salah, 24, was arrested in recent weeks after returning from studying abroad.

The Shin Bet says that while he was in Turkey, Abu Salah was recruited by Hamas, and carried out military training in Turkey and Syria.

The training included “weapons training and studying the manufacturing of explosives, in order to advance terror attacks against the State of Israel,” the agency says.

Before returning to the West Bank, Abu Salah allegedly met with senior Hamas officials in Turkey, who instructed him to recruit others for a local cell to carry out terror attacks.

The interrogation of Abu Salah led to the arrest of three others, the Shin Bet says.
Iyas Mahmoud Abu Salah, 20, Salah Mahmoud Abu Salah, 23, and Hassin Fauz Aqra, 25, all planned to carry out attacks, including a bombing attack, according to the Shin Bet.

A Shin Bet handout photo showing mugshots of, from left, Hassin Fauz Aqra, Ahmed Abu Salah, Iyas Mahmoud Abu Salah and Salah Mahmoud Abu Salah.

The Shin Bet says the four were regularly in contact with a relative who lives in Turkey, who is the son of a senior Hamas official there.

Turkey has long had close ties with the Gaza Strip-based Hamas, and hosts terror group officials and units in the country.

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