An unnamed Palestinian man sought to recruit a US citizen to assassinate Barack Obama when the US president visited Israel and the West Bank in March 2013, Israel police said on Tuesday.
The American, Adam Everett Livix, was indicted in Tel Aviv on Tuesday on a separate matter, for charges that include obtaining plastic explosives from Israeli soldiers with the apparent intention of harming Muslim holy sites.
Israel Police said that Livix, who lived in Hebron and Bethlehem in 2013, was asked at that time by a Palestinian operative if he would assassinate Obama with a sniper’s rifle during the president’s visit, but Livix refused to do so. No reference to this allegation was made in the charge sheet released Tuesday.
“Adam Livix came to the region in 2013 and lived in Palestinian Authority territory in Hebron and Bethlehem,” Israel Police said in a statement. “In the course of his stay in Bethlehem, a Palestinian activist suggested to him that he assassinate President Barack Obama, who was visiting Israel at the time, with a sniper’s rifle that would be procured for him. Adam refused this suggestion.”
Livix, 30, a Christian from Texas who pretended to be a Navy SEAL, is wanted in the US for questioning regarding drug violations and has been in police custody in Israel since November 19, the police said.
The investigation of Livix in recent weeks was carried out in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Israel’s Shin Bet security agency was also involved.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld described Livix as a Christian extremist “seeking to carry out a terror attack against an Islamic site.”
Livix was charged Thursday in Tel Aviv District Court with overstaying his tourist visa in Israel, acquiring nonlethal weapons such as smoke grenades and stun grenades, obtaining blocks of C4 explosives, and obstructing police officers who came to arrest him. On the day of his arrest, he jumped out of the window of his 7th floor apartment in Netanya to the balcony of the apartment below, but was eventually captured, the police said.
The indictment said an IDF soldier, identified only as A.A., who is also a US citizen, stole plastic explosives from an IDF base in 2013. Early this year, he met and befriended Livix in Netanya. The two moved into an apartment there in October. On unspecified dates, A.A. also stole six stun grenades and a smoke grenade, more plastic explosives and other materiel from the IDF. He sold all this to Livix for NIS 2,500 ($640), of which Livix paid him NIS 500. Livix later removed the weaponry from the apartment and put it in a storage area.
The indictment also details the stealing of IDF explosives by two other soldiers, and their contacts with Livix.
On November 19, after police became aware of Livix’s activities and anti-Arab sentiments, the police came to search the apartment. When they knocked on the door, he did not open it. The police broke down the door, and Livix jumped out of the window to a balcony on the floor below, injuring himself. He was arrested.
Livix’s court-appointed lawyer, Gal Wolff, said the case had originally been presented “as one of the most grave security cases in the history of the State of Israel.” Because of this, Livix was not allowed to see an attorney “for eight days while he was in custody.” The eventual indictment “shows that there was no justification” for this, said Wolff.