Revealed: PFLP was behind failed bus bombing in Israel, 6 terrorists arrested

PFLP officials in Lebanon and Gaza Strip helped plan attempted attack that was carried out by Bethlehem-based cell. More attacks were being planned.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, based in Judea and Samaria and Lebanon, were the masterminds behind a recently failed bus bombing near Jerusalem, the Shin Bet security agency revealed on Monday.

In March 2023, a bomb began smoking on a public bus in the ultra-Orthodox city of Beitar Illit, sparking panic and a mass exodus of passengers from the vehicle. Fortunately, the bomb failed to detonate and police sappers were able to neutralize the device without any casualties.

After intense overnight door-to-door searches in the community, the terrorist who placed the bomb on the bus and his accomplices were arrested the next day in a nearby Arab town.

According to the Shin Bet statement released on Monday, senior PFLP commanders in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip planned the attack, provided material support and guidance to the terrorists, and gave orders to operatives regarding the timing of the attempted bombing.

Under the orders of foreign PFLP officials, a Bethlehem-based cell consisting of seven Palestinian men illegally traveled into Israel, physically assembled the explosive device, and rented safehouses to cover their tracks.

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The Shin Bet, Israel Security Agency, named Mazen Abdullah, Ahmad Abu Naama, Wissam Ayuna, Nur Mahmoud, Rami Al-Ahmar, and Muhammad Al-Barak as members of the local cell.

An Israeli woman who helped the men cross into Israel was detained by the Shin Bet. After an investigation, authorities determined that she was unaware of the plot and charged her with the less-serious offense of aiding illegally entry into the country.

However, imprisoned PFLP head Ahmad Saadat was also involved in the planning of the attack, reports indicate. He has been incarcerated in an Israeli prison since 2008. Following the attempted bombing, authorities transferred him to a different correctional facility.