Creative excuse? Wannabe terrorist claims ‘curiosity’ behind failed Jerusalem rocket launch

Resident of PA-controlled village nabbed after setting up rocket in eastern Jerusalem neighborhood, claims he was motivated by “curiosity,” not by terror.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Shin Bet security agency is investigating an incident in which a rocket was discovered in an Arab eastern Jerusalem neighborhood on Jerusalem Day last month, following repeated threats from terror groups to launch rockets at the city in order to disrupt the Flag Parade.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, the Shin Bet discovered the rocket and arrested the perpetrator in May, but the incident was barred from media publication until nearly a month after it occurred.

Abd al-Hakim Buatana, a resident of the Palestinian Authority-controlled town of Ajul in Samaria, had reportedly garnered know-how regarding assembling and launching rockets from the Telegram messaging application and internet research.

Buatna told the Shin Bet that he was not affiliated with any specific terror organization and that he had acted alone.

He also claimed that he had not planned to launch the rocket at any specific time and denied that he wanted to do so as an act of terror; rather, he said that he was motivated by “curiosity,” according to a Yediot Ahronot report.

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Hebrew-language media reported that Buatna’s technical skills during the manufacturing and production processes were too poor to result in successful launches.

He reportedly admitted to the Shin Bet that he had been unable to launch any rockets, despite numerous previous attempts.

Authorities noted that the base of the rocket that Buatana had placed in eastern Jerusalem was old and damaged, suggesting that he possibly repurposed it from a previous attempt. There were no explosives contained within the rocket at the time it was discovered.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and Butana is currently being held by the Shin Bet.