Archive for June 18, 2018

Syrian handler paid Hamas cell $100,000 to attack Israeli cities, Shin Bet reveals

June 18, 2018

Shin Bet security agency says it foiled major terrorist attacks on Israeli cities at “11th hour” after uncovering 20-member terrorist cell with “extraordinary” infrastructure in Nablus • Cell comprised mostly Hamas operatives, paid by Syrian, agency says.

By Shlomi Diaz June 18, 2018 Via Israel Hayom

Source Link: Syrian handler paid Hamas cell $100,000 to attack Israeli cities, Shin Bet reveals

{I assume the Syrian operative paid more than money for his actions. – LS}

Note:  I’ll be taking a much needed vacation all next week.  My grandson is playing in a baseball tournament in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  The cool nights, majestic Smoky Mountains, and Tennessee moonshine will be on the agenda as well.  And then, there’s ‘Dollywood’ for the kids.  The only problem is moonshine and roller coasters don’t mix too well.  I am, however,  looking forward to the trip, but not the drive.  At my age, driving 85mph on the interstate for 700 miles can be quite tiring.

A Hamas plan to carry out terrorist attacks in ‎Israeli cities has been thwarted, the Shin Bet security ‎agency revealed Sunday.‎

According to available details, Shin Bet agents, in collaboration with the military and police, uncovered ‎terrorist infrastructure they described as “extraordinary in its size ‎and level of activity” operating in the Nablus area in the West Bank.

According to the Shin Bet, the leader of the 20-‎member cell was paid $100,000 by a Syrian operative to target ‎major Israeli cities. ‎

The investigation so far has revealed that the cell became operational in October 2017 and ‎remained active until late April, when all 20 ‎suspects were arrested. ‎

According to the Shin Bet, most of the ‎suspects are Hamas operatives and some have previous records that include terrorist activities, ‎especially building bombs.‎

During their interrogation, the suspects revealed ‎that they were tasked with carrying out a number of ‎known terrorist attack attempts, including a bombing in Tel Aviv, a suicide attack in Jerusalem, an attack in the ‎Samaria community of Itamar, and several shooting ‎attacks across Judea and Samaria. ‎

The cell also enlisted the help of a Palestinian ‎‎chemistry teacher to manufacture explosives. ‎

The Shin Bet said these attacks were foiled “at the ‎11th hour.”

Security ‎forces who raided the suspects’ hideouts seized weapons and explosives, and uncovered ‎information leading to other Hamas terrorist ‎cells, the Shin Bet said. ‎

‎”The arrests were carried out smoothly. We surprised ‎them where they least expected it, in places where ‎they thought they would be safe. It was a complex ‎operation,” a Golani officer who took part in the ‎raid told Israel Hayom.‎

The Shin Bet identified the cell’s leaders as ‎Mutassem Muhammad Salem, 35, and Fares Kamil Zebidi, ‎‎33. ‎

Details of the investigation had been under a gag order that ‎was partially lifted on Sunday, when Salem and ‎Zebidi were indicted in a military court.‎

Salem is accused of acting on the orders of a Nusra ‎Front operative in Syria. The two communicated via ‎the Telegram messaging application, which allows for ‎encrypted communications.‎

According to the indictment, the Nusra Front operative offered Salem $100,000 to ‎prepare and detonate an explosive device in Israel, ‎and he agreed. ‎

‎”Discovering this cell demonstrates Hamas’ efforts ‎to establish terrorist infrastructure in Judea and ‎Samaria, as well as its constant desire to carry out ‎terrorist attacks against Israeli targets in an ‎effort to undermine the relative calm,” the Shin Bet ‎said.‎

Commented on the ‎arrests Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  said, “The Shin Bet security agency, ‎IDF and the Israel Police have thwarted a Hamas ‎terrorist cell that sought to carry out horrific ‎attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, from Nablus in ‎Judea and Samaria. ‎

‎”Hamas is trying to attack us both from Gaza and ‎from Judea and Samaria. This is why we will continue ‎to maintain security control of all areas west of ‎the Jordan River.”

Ex-‘Israeli NSA’ chief: Target Iran, Hezbollah energy infrastructure first

June 18, 2018

Source: Ex-‘Israeli NSA’ chief: Target Iran, Hezbollah energy infrastructure first – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

Energy is a major pillar of economies, and for some it is their cardiovascular system.

BY YONAH JEREMY BOB
 JUNE 18, 2018 04:13
Ex-‘Israeli NSA’ chief: Target Iran, Hezbollah energy infrastructure first

The first cyber target that Israel should go after in any future conflict with Iran or Hezbollah should be its adversaries’ energy infrastructure, former Unit 8200 “the Israeli NSA” chief Brig.-Gen. Ehud Schneorson said on Sunday.

Speaking at a cyber conference at Tel Aviv University, Schneorson said: “Energy is a major pillar of economies, and for some it is their cardiovascular system,” seemingly emphasizing the importance, especially to Iran’s economy.

He said that this kind of attack would have a greater, broader impact in a conflict than neutralizing the weapons systems of Israel’s adversaries, which he said was important in gaining tactical superiority, but would not have as big a strategic impact.

Schneorson’s comment was notable as traditionally, Israeli officials, even out of service, have avoided discussing major cyber attack targets.

The former-IDF Unit 8200 chief said, “There were still targets which should never be put into cyber operations” for ethical reasons, including the water, food and healthcare sectors. He also advised against attacking adversaries’ banking sectors “due to the butterfly effect” it could incidentally have on the global economy.

On cyber defense, he said, Israel’s biggest priority is blocking cyberattacks on its anti-missile defense shield, such as the Iron Dome and Arrow missile systems, as well as its “C4I systems, which bring efficiencies to the battlefield” in networking the IDF’s targeting and “collaboration between differences forces.”

During the same panel, top Defense Ministry official and retired Brig-Gen. Dan Gold said that a major focus of cyber operations is fighting back against “enemies trying to jam our radars for finding aircraft.” He said that Israel has a cyber “technique to clear jamming, to stop hundreds of fake targets, which really look like real aircraft,” from overloading its radar system that tracks enemy aircraft.

Former national security council chief Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror discussed the importance of adopting lessons from classical warfare into the cyber arena.

Amidror, who is now a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Security Studies, said that Israel “must presume that its cyber defense line will be penetrated by the enemy.”

He explained that classical warfare had two major moves for when you anticipated that an enemy could penetrate your defense line. “One answer was multiple defense lines to lead the enemy into a killing zones where you have the chance to destroy it,” he said. “But if you are smart, you don’t destroy the enemy. You set a honey trap. You give him some information, so he thinks he is in the right place… You manipulate the enemy into thinking he had a huge success.”

Amidror said that if the cyber enemy thinks it hacked into the right area, it will not realize that it should be planning another attack and will try to stay in the fake cyber deception system, where it has been contained.

Retired IDF cyber official, Brig.- Gen. Yaron Rosen, emphasized the importance of fighting cyber adversaries “asymmetrically.”

“We need SWAT teams in cyberspace, a national level division of responsibilities and accountable forces… When I ask who is accountable and see more than one hand, I know that” no one is really accountable, he said.

Rosen also highlighted the importance of figuring out a system of “deterrence in cyberspace” against potential enemies, though he said that this was a very tough challenge due to potential, unpredictable escalation.

Rockets fired toward Israel from Gaza Strip, IDF strikes terrorist targets 

June 18, 2018

Source: Rockets fired toward Israel from Gaza Strip, IDF strikes terrorist targets – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

Several rounds of red alert sirens were heard in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, the Ashkelon industrial zone, Kibbutz Yad Mordechai and Netiv Ha’asara.

BY JULIANE HELMHOLD
 JUNE 18, 2018 06:22
Rockets fired toward Israel from Gaza Strip, IDF strikes terrorist targets

Three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel early Monday morning, one of which landed in the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF spokesperson.

Several rounds of red alert sirens were heard in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, the Ashkelon industrial zone, Kibbutz Yad Mordechai and Netiv Ha’asara.

In response to the rockets, IAF fighter jets struck 9 military targets in two military compounds and in a munition manufacturing site belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the northern Gaza Strip.

“These are terrorist acts that endanger Israeli residents living in southern Israel and damage extensive areas in Israeli territory,” the IDF spokesperson commented.

“We have fired warning shots against groups who were responsible for the arson and destruction in Israel, and have carried out attacks against infrastructure used by these groups. The IDF’s intelligence and operational capabilities will allow it to increase these strikes as necessary. We are determined to continue to act with increasing intensity against these acts of terror as long as required, using the variety of tools at its disposal.”

On Sunday, an Israeli aircraft fired at a group of Palestinians who were launching arson balloons in the southern Gaza Strip as well as infrastructure from which the group had been operating and a vehicle they had been using.

“The Hamas terror organization is accountable for all violence emanating from the Gaza Strip and it will bear the consequences,” the IDF spokesperson emphasized.

Over the last few weeks, extensive damage to farmland surrounding the Gaza Strip was caused by arson balloons and incendiary kites send from within the coastal enclave.

On Sunday alone, 21 fires broke out in the Kissufim and Be’eri Forest and caused extensive damage to flora and fauna, according to the KKL-JNF.