Beersheba terrorist’s brothers arrested, family condemns attack

Police believe the Beersheba stabber acted alone but investigating possibility that his family had advance knowledge of the attack.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Israeli police arrested two brothers of the terrorist who perpetrated a deadly terror attack in Beersheba on Tuesday, while his extended family and home town issued statements condemning his actions, Hebrew-language media reported Wednesday.

Police believe that Muhammad Abu Al-Kiyan, a Bedouin-Israeli from the Negev town of Hura, acted alone. However, they suspect that his brothers may have seen him leave the family home with a knife and perhaps had advance knowledge of his intentions, according to a Ynet report.

“We harshly condemn this terrorist act in Beersheba today that took the lives of innocent civilians,” the Abu Al-Kiyan clan said in a Tuesday evening statement.

“This criminal action is a lone act that represents only he who performed it. We are a family that believes in co-existence and obeying the law,” the statement read.

They told Hebrew-language media that there were no signs that Abu Al-Kiyan was planning to commit a terror attack and that he worked as usual in his family’s bakery that day.

The Hura Regional Council, the local administrative body that has jurisdiction over Abu Al-Kiyan’s hometown, issued a statement decrying the attack, which left four civilians dead.

“Attacking innocent civilians is a criminal act [of] terrorism,” the Council said. “We send our condolences to the families of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded.”

The statement urged “Negev residents, Arabs and Jews alike, to maintain the [good] neighborly relations that have prevailed so far between the parties.”

Although Abu Al-Kiyan’s family and community condemned the attack and said they were caught off guard by his actions, the perpetrator was previously incarcerated on terror offenses.

In 2015, he was arrested after attempting to leave Israel in order to travel to Syria and join the ISIS terror group.

“Criminals like the defendant are a ticking time bomb, and it’s impossible to know when the countdown will begin,” the prosecutor told the judge during Abu Al-Kiyan’s sentencing hearing.