Over 2,200 terror attacks foiled during Shin Bet chief tenure

Outgoing Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman described the challenge of ensuring Israel’s security as “an endless race.”

By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News

The Israeli Security Agency, known as the Shin Bet, has foiled over 2,200 significant terror attacks against the State of Israel in five and a half years, said outgoing Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman.

“Today, I finish five and a half years of service as head of Israel’s Security Agency,” Argaman said Wednesday during a ceremony in which new Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar took office.

Describing the challenge of ensuring Israel’s security as “an endless race,” Argaman said that some 2,261 attempted terrorist attacks were carried out against Israelis during his tenure. These included shooting attacks, explosive devices, suicide bombings and kidnapping attempts.

During his years on the job, some 529 terror attacks were successfully carried out by use of explosive devices or by shooting, stabbing and ramming attacks, resulting in 54 Israeli casualties, he said.

“I’m proud to be leaving behind me an important organization, central to Israel’s security – An organization that knows how to combine innovative and groundbreaking technology with creative and daring thinking, quality human capital and values that serve as a moral compass,” he added.

Addressing the main security challenges Israel is expected to face in the near future, the new Shin Bet director said that “the main threat to regional peace is the Shiite axis led by Iran,” which he described as “a machine of terrorism, espionage and influence.”

He also mentioned the rising crime in Arab communities in Israel and addressed recent reports indicting that the Shin Bet might soon get involved in fighting Arab crime.

“The Shin Bet will no longer stand idle,” Bar said. “We will study the issue and present the right balance between contributing to police efforts and increasing our [direct] involvement.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett thanked both officials for their years of service, stating that the secret behind the Shin Bet’s power was “in it being a tactical organization that acts in the field and – in the hundreds of small tactical operations it carries out daily – provides security and quiet for the citizens of Israel.”

He added that years of experience have taught Israeli authorities that “in dealing with terrorist organizations, the way to quiet and stability first passes through control on the ground, precise intelligence, counter-operations and deterrence.”