Special agents with the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), or Shin Bet, arrested 14 suspects allegedly involved in planning and perpetrating a bomb attack on a passenger bus in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, according to the Israeli media on Thursday.
Thirteen of the suspects are believed to be members and associates of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Shiite group affiliated with Iran, and one Israeli-Bedouin who is suspected of providing the bombers entry into central Israel and acting as their getaway driver, according to reports.
The bomb was detected before exploding by an Israeli passenger on the bus on Dec. 22, 2013. As a result of that alert passenger, there were no deaths or injuries.
The secretive Shin Bet, along with special operations soldiers from Israeli Defense Forces, carried out several raids in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank following the attack and arrested several suspects, mostly in and around the town of Bethlehem, which was witnessing an influx of Christian pilgrims visiting the site of the birth of Jesus Christ during the Christmas holiday.
According to the ISA, two major terrorism suspects were jailed in Israel in the past: 24-year-old Shahada Ta' amri and his 21-year-old brother brother Hamdi Ta' amri , who was a police cadet in at the Palestinian Police Academy in Jericho.
The brothers are suspected of building the improvised explosive device (IED) with explosives, bolts, nails and an operating system that utilized a cell phone to detonate the IED from a remote area as described in several Examiner news stories.