JERUSALEM – Israeli security service Shin Bet announced Tuesday the arrest of three Palestinians that were part of an alleged terror cell planning to attack Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
One of the suspects allegedly also planned attacks against the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem, a senior Canadian security delegation who train Palestinian security forces in the West Bank as well as other senior Israel officials, including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
The Shin Bet said the plot was orchestrated from Syria and it involved sneaking in an operative from Jordan and “significant terrorist activity.” The Israel security service said they began collecting intelligence on their targets over the past few months and the arrested were made in April.
A Shin Bet official told Fox News the leader of the group, 30-year-old Mohammad Jamal Rashda, was acting under Syrian orders. However, the official said, the operatives never met, no money was transferred and, no arms were purchased.
During the investigation, Rashda reportedly admitted that he planned to bring reinforcement from Jordan as the plan moved along. Rashda had already served three years in an Israeli prison for terror-related offenses.
Barkat said he was kept in the loop throughout the investigation and had not changed his routine at all.
“Our Shin Bet is one of the finest organizations in the world,” he said in a statement. “When the Shin Bet is involved and the police are on the ground, I can trust them and sleep quietly and safely.
There was no immediate comment from Netanyahu, who is currently on an official visit to France.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.