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Police confirm knife-wielding man was would-be terrorist

Jerusalem light rail security guards apprehended suspect on Tuesday after passersby saw him inspecting a knife under his coat

Raoul Wootliff is the Times of Israel's former political correspondent and producer of the Daily Briefing podcast.

A Palestinian man found carrying a knife Tuesday while walking on the light rail tracks near Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station was planning to carry out a terrorist attack, police said Wednesday.

The 19-year-old Old City resident was arrested after light rail security guards and an off-duty border policeman found the knife hidden in his clothes during a body search.

The guards were alerted to a man walking by the light rail tracks near the station by passersby who said he was seen inspecting a knife under his coat.

According to the Walla news site, one man was heard shouting, “There’s a terrorist.”

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Police said the suspect initially denied he was planning on using the knife to carry out a stabbing attack.

He was later transferred to the Special Operations Squad in the Jerusalem District Police’s Central Unit for interrogation, where he admitted he intended to carry out a terrorist attack.

He said he had taken the knife from his home before riding the light rail to the Central Bus Station, where he searched for an appropriate victim.

The man’s remand was extended a further five days.

On Monday, two Palestinian girls stabbed a 70-year-old Palestinian man in central Jerusalem with a pair of scissors after they mistook him for a Jew.

Police identified the two attackers as cousins Hadil and Nurhan Awad, aged 14 and 16, from Qalandiya in northern Jerusalem. The 16-year-old was shot to death at the scene and the 14-year-old was shot and seriously wounded, a police spokesperson said.

Monday’s stabbing was the first attack to hit Jerusalem in over two weeks as a wave of stabbings, shootings and vehicular rammings continued throughout the country. At least 22 of the victims of the attacks lost their lives since the beginning of October, including seven in the last week alone.

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