Hamas Recruited Agents for Planned Jerusalem Attack Via Facebook
Two Arab brothers from Jerusalem who were plotting a terrorist attack in the capital used social networking platform Facebook as a recruiting tool, Israel’s NRG News said Monday.
The Jerusalem District Attorney’s office said Sha’aban Bin Ahmed Hamad, 28, and his brother, Mohammed bin Ahmed Hamad, 23, are accused of belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization, soliciting, contacting a foreign agent, conspiracy to commit a crime, obstruction of justice, and destruction of evidence.
According to the indictment filed by Attorney Benny Libeskind, Sha’aban was recruited by Hamas in Gaza via Facebook, and then recruited his brother. The two then tried to recruit a third person in order to establish a military cell for carrying out the attack.
Two months ago Sha’aban – who had previously served time in an Israeli prison – received a friend request on Facebook from a Hamas operative. The operative later sent him a book and recruitment letter from a Hamas member who is currently incarcerated, whom Sha’aban had been acquainted with.
Sha’aban agreed to join the terror group, and the operative later sent along another book, this one with a computer disk and instructions. The disk contained encryption software and a file, which provided further instructions for establishing the terror cell via a contact called “Abu Muhammed.”
Abu Muhammed was to front Sha’aban with NIS 100,000 ($25.4K) to finance the activities of the cell. Sha’aban was then to contact a third individual to acquire weapons for an attack, according to the indictment.
Two days later, the defendant asked his brother to join the Hamas cell and take part in planning an attack against Israelis. The two tried to interest a third individual in joining the cell, but he refused, and told the two not to continue their activities.
About a month ago, security forces arrested Sha’aban. Immediately thereafter, his brother destroyed the disks, laptop, books and related material in an effort to hide the evidence of the nascent terror cell.
Such attempts to recruit terrorists to carry out attacks are common, as are efforts to incite for attacks via Palestinian and Arab social media outlets.
In the wake of a failed stabbing attack against two border policemen in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, Palestinians published a Hamas training video entitled “How to stab right.”
In late November, Israeli security officials revealed that they had foiled a Hamas plan to carry out a terror attack at a soccer stadium.