Palestinian Poison-Plotter Re-Arrested Week After Release From 14-Year Prison Term
A Palestinian terrorist who was released last week after serving a 14-year prison term for plotting to poison diners at a Jerusalem restaurant, was rearrested this weekend on suspicion of renewed ties with Hamas, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Sunday.
According to the report, Sufian Bakri Abdu was apprehended on Friday in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of east Jerusalem — when a broader Israel Police investigation led to him and six other suspects.
Abdu, according to nrg, had been seen at a pro-Hamas rally, where he was hoisted on the shoulders of flag-waving participants hailing his release. He also gave an interview to a Palestinian radio station, in which he urged Palestinians to step up protests on behalf of “political prisoners,” particularly those on hunger strikes.
The incident for which Abdu was imprisoned occurred in 2002, when he was 23. He and two other Hamas sympathizers, Utman Said Kianyah, 23, and Moussa Nasser, 22, conspired to commit a terrorist attack against patrons at the capital’s Café Rimon by poisoning them.
Kianyah had been a chef at the eatery for three years; Nasser allegedly helped develop the poison; and Abdu was to give it to Kianyah to infuse in the patron’s drinks. Kianyah revealed during his interrogation that he had been concerned about the plan, but was reassured by the other two that the poison in question was tasteless, odorless and untraceable. They claimed that it would not take effect for 15 hours after being imbibed, and its symptoms would mimic those of a heart attack. Kianyah allegedly suggested that they first test it on stray cats.
Further revealed in the interrogation was that Abdu had trouble following the exact recipe for the poison, and as a result decided to scrap the plan and commit a suicide-bombing at the restaurant instead. To this end, the three attempted to enlist the help of Hamas activists via the Internet to obtain an explosive belt.
Their arrest came months after two Palestinian terrorists blew themselves up at the very same restaurant, killing 10 and wounding 170.
Both Abdu’s foiled plot and the successful suicide bombing at the same location were part of the Second Intifada, launched by then-PLO chief Yasser Arafat.