Jerusalem – Israeli security sources confirmed on Thursday night that in a joint Israeli Army, Intelligence and Border Police operation, law enforcement officials entered a United Nations Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] camp in Jenin and killed the Arab terror commander who had dispatched a would-be suicide bomber to Tel Aviv on Tuesday night, as reported in The Bulletin on Thursday (Chasing A Terrorist: A Blow-By-Blow Account).
The dead Arab terrorist, Mahmud Ibrahim Qassem Abid, whose code name was Abu Jahim, (Arabic for “father of hell”) was shot and killed after firing his weapon near the force.
Israeli security sources said that Abu Jahim was implicated by the prospective suicide bomber who was caught on Tuesday in Bat Yam. In his interrogation by Israeli intelligence, the would-be bomber apparently fingered the wanted man as his handler, who planned the bombing, recruited the bomber and prepared the explosive charge for the attack.
Abu Jahim, born in 1986 and a resident of the UNRWA Jenin refugee camp, had been wanted by security forces for a long time.
Over the past two years, he had become a wanted man, following the arrests of other senior terrorist leaders of the Islamic Jihad in the northern Samaria, in the Jenin and Tulkarm areas.
Abu Jahim was known as an engineer of the Islamic Jihad and was in charge of recruiting tens of suicide bombers for attacks in Israel. Abu Jahim was responsible for the manufacture of high quality explosive devices and had been involved in dozens of explosive device attacks against Israeli soldiers in the Jenin area and was one of the commanders directly responsible for the attempted suicide bombing attack in Central Israel which was thwarted on Tuesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, a successful search was held for a Palestinian resident of Jalbun who left Jenin in the morning carrying a large explosive device in his bag. The explosive device was retrieved by the Israel Police and Israeli intelligence near the city of Rishon Letzion. In an initial investigation, the apprehended terrorist admitted that he had been recruited to the Islamic Jihad terrorist infrastructure by Abu Jahim, who also supplied him with a large explosive device meant for a suicide bombing attack in the Tel-Aviv Central Bus Station.
Israeli government sources said that “Abu-Jahim was one of the most senior wanted terrorists in Samaria. His ability and his experience in manufacturing explosive devices and recruiting suicide bombers made him one of the most important figures in one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in Samaria, a lethal infrastructure that used different methods to strike at Israeli targets”.
Israeli security personnel had planned to arrest and interrogate Abu Jahim. However, the terrorist did not give them that interview opportunity: He opened fired at Israeli security forces as they entered the UNRWA camp. Israeli soldiers responded with gunfire, ending Abu Jahim’s life.
The commander of the IDF’s Menashe Brigade, Col. Hertzl Halevy, said Abu Jahim was located Wednesday by a force of undercover troops when he was in his car, near Yihye Ayash Square in Jenin, and was shot dead by the troops after he opened fire on them.
Palestinian sources claimed that a sniper in the disguised vehicle hit the wanted man in the head with a single shot, and that uniformed soldiers jumped from the vehicle and sprayed his car with automatic fire. A number of explosive charges were found in the car.
Halevy said Abu Jahim had been on the wanted list for a long time, and was wounded in a gunfight with soldiers about 18 months ago. In the security investigation, it emerged that Abu Jahim had planned the suicide bombing, recruited the suicide volunteer and even prepared the bomb that was found two days ago in the garbage can in Rishon Letzion and was to have been used in the bombing. The investigation of the attempted suicide attack revealed that the terrorist set out from Jenin in a southerly direction in a Palestinian vehicle, crossed Samaria and succeeded in entering Israeli territory in the Jerusalem area. IDF sources say it is not yet clear how he managed to get through the separation fence, but the security establishment thinks he succeeded in getting through one of the roadblocks intended for Israelis.
The Islamic Jihad Arab terror group also confirmed that it was Abu Jahim who sent the suicide volunteer. The organization promised to avenge the blood of its leader: “The assassinations and killings will not deter us from continuing the resistance,” the organization said.
The Palestinian news agency, Ma’an reported that the Al Aksa Brigades, the main armed group affiliated with Fatah, which is headed by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, launched nine missile attacks at the Israeli cities of Sderot and Ashkelon and against the Israeli kibbutz Nahal Oz, as a response to the Israeli security forces killing of Abu Jahim.
©The Bulletin 2007