Wanted Palestinian terrorist suspected in bus bombing killed in shootout
This morning Israeli authorities, including the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet, and the Israeli Police, attempted to arrest Mohammed Asi, a Palestinian wanted in connection with the Nov. 21 bus bombing in Tel Aviv, near the village of Bilin. He was killed in a shootout with IDF forces after resisting arrest.
"Since the attack, security services have pursued Asi as a suspect. After many efforts, the ISA managed to locate his hideout," the IDF said in statement. When the IDF attempted to arrest Asi, he tried "to escape and opened fire on the forces using a weapon that was already in his possession. The forces returned fire, killing the terrorist," the IDF stated.
Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad both issued statements claiming Asi, 28, as their member.
In addition to killing Asi, the IDF arrested two of his accomplices, Muhammad Ibrahim Sais and Abdullah Suleiman Abu Asi. Both had previously been imprisoned by Israel for terror-related offenses.
Asi, originally from the West Bank town of Beit Liqya, was born in 1985 and had been imprisoned in Israeli prisons at least four times for terror-related activity. According to a statement by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Asi had spent a total of four and a half years in prison and was released most recently in September 2012.
On Dec. 19, the Shin Bet released details on some of the other members of the cell behind the Tel Aviv attack. The cell, the Shin Bet said, was made up of "Hamas and Islamic Jihad affiliated operatives," who were "planning additional attacks."