Israel on Wednesday announced the recent arrest of three Arabs from eastern Jerusalem who had been recruited by Al Qaeda and were planning to carry out a string of large-scale terrorist attacks against Israeli and American targets.
The three were reportedly planning to bomb the Jerusalem Convention Center and the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, as well as a public bus traveling between Jerusalem and its suburb of Ma'aleh Adumim. In all three attacks, the Al Qaeda operatives were also planning to open fire on first responders, according to the indictment.
The three men were said to have been recruited online by an Al Qaeda handler operating out of the Gaza Strip. That handler is believed to be in direct contact with Al Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri (pictured).
The US State Department acknowledged that indeed the Tel Aviv embassy had been the target of an Al Qaeda plot.
Embassy staff told The Jerusalem Post that while they were concerned by and monitoring the situation closely, "we have a high degree of confidence in our own security staff and in the Israeli security forces."