2 East J’lem Men Suspected of Plan to Kidnap Ultra-Orthodox Resident
Investigation finds suspects planned to kill victim, demand release of Islamic Jihad prisoners in exchange for body.
Police and the Shin Bet security service arrested two Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem two weeks ago on suspicion of planning to kidnap and murder an ultra-Orthodox man.
According to the suspicions, one of the terrorists involved in the planning hoped to obtain the victim’s identity card, and to demand that Israel release Islamic Jihad prisoners in exchange for the return of the body.
The initial police investigation reveals that the two youths, Ayman Salhab Maras Al-Amud and his cousin Haitham Salhab Mashuafat both have criminal records for drug offenses and transport of illegal residents.
They were recruited by a resident of Gaza, the investigation found, whose affiliation with any terrorist or crime organization is still undetermined, and each was offered $2,000 for the kidnapping.
Deputy Commissioner Avi Reuf of the Jerusalem Police Department said the suspects drove several times through ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in the city, trying to convince residents to enter their car.
After finding their victim, the suspects planned to beat him and stab him with a screwdriver.
The suspects said they planned to kidnap an ultra-Orthodox man because they tend to hitchhike and no uncertainty exists as to their Jewish identity.
After none of the men they approached accepted their offers of transportation, the suspects obtained a pistol in order to kidnap an Israeli through threats, but were detained shortly before carrying out their plans.
Police asked the court to extend the suspects’ remand until the end of legal proceedings so they could file indictments against them.