Islamic State Sympathizer Arrested for Carrying Out Jerusalem Bombings

Israeli security forces gather in Jerusalem following an explosion at a bus stop which wounded at least seven people, two of them seriously, on November 23, 2022. (Photo by Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

On Tuesday, the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and Israeli Police announced the arrest of 26-year-old Aslam Faroukh, an Islamic State sympathizer and a resident of Israel suspected of carrying out two bombing attacks in Jerusalem on November 23.

Israeli authorities alleged that Faroukh, a mechanical engineer by trade, learned to make explosive devices by researching the subject online. In the days following the bombings, investigators located a scooter used to transport materiel in the attack, five pipe bombs, clothing, a helmet and other items. Investigators also recovered an explosive device that was intended to be used in another attack by Faroukh.

On the day of the bombings, Faroukh drove his scooter to a hitchhiking station where he placed the first charge behind bushes, and the second charge was placed at Ramot station. Approximately one hour after placing the explosives, Faroukh detonated the charges via a cell phone. The bombings resulted in the deaths of two civilians and the injury of more than 20 people.

Following the bombings, Israeli authorities also arrested a suspect that was in the initial stages of carrying out an attack not related to the Jerusalem bombings. According to Israeli media, 23-year-old Hamed Othman from the village of Ein Naqquba, planned to use an explosive belt against IDF soldiers at a transport station in Jerusalem. Othman’s indictment is expected in the coming days, according to Israeli authorities.

In recent months, supporters of the Islamic State have been arrested by Israeli security forces for planning to carry out attacks against Israeli targets. On Oct. 2, the ISA announced it arrested six Arab Israelis with ties to the Islamic State who sought to carry out attacks against targets inside the country, including a Nazareth Muslim school.

On March 27, before carrying out a shooting attack that resulted in the deaths of two Israeli border police officers, Ayman and Khaled Ighbariyah uploaded a video to Facebook swearing bayat (oath of allegiance) to the Islamic State and its leader at the time, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Islamic State Sympathizer Arrested for Carrying Out Jerusalem Bombings.]

Joe Truzman is an editor and senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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