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Wednesday, June 29, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israeli intelligence breaks up alleged terror cell

TEL AVIV — Israel has foiled what officials termed a Palestinian insurgency plot.


The Israel Security Agency has arrested more than 20 Palestinians on allegations that they participated in an insurgency campaign against the Jewish state, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the detainees were recruited by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to abduct Israelis and acquire weapons.

"ISA, together with the Army and police, has over the last two months foiled the establishment of a Popular Front military cell in the Ramallah area," the Israeli domestic intelligence agency said on June 27.

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The detainees were said to live in Ramallah and Jerusalem. Officials said PLFP planned to abduct at least one Palestinian land dealer to acquire a ransom that would finance weapons procurement.

"The arrests, which took place before they could fulfill their goals, prevented a series of attacks," ISA said.

PFLP, based in Syria, has been regarded as one of the smaller insurgency organizations in the West Bank. The ISA statement was issued amid warnings by security officials that Palestinians were planning a campaign of violence ahead of a United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood in September 2010.

The alleged leader of the PFLP cell was identified as Nasser Abu Khdair, 40, and described as having a "rich history of terrorist activity." Other members held security offenses and had been previously arrested by Israeli authorities.

"The members of the cell were arrested after they had already begun preparations for carrying out attacks," ISA said. "This included recruiting members and buying arms. The investigation was continuing."

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