JERUSALEM, Israel -- Shin Bet's (Israel Security Agency) arrest of an al Qaeda-linked terror cell thwarted plans for suicide bombings at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and other key targets.
Shin Bet arrested three members of the cell, reporting to al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri. Authorities say it's the first time the terror chief has been involved directly in plots inside Israel. The detainees said Zawahri has an operative living in Gaza who recruited the cell members -- two from east Jerusalem neighborhoods and one from an Arab village near Jenin.
The three, Rubin Abu-Nagma, 31, Iyad Khalid Abu Sara, 24, and Ala Anam, 22, were all taken into custody. The two east Jerusalem residents confessed to using their Israeli identity cards to plan the attacks.
The cell was also planning to attack Jerusalem's International Convention Center. The men planned to detonate a booby-trapped truck when rescue workers arrived to help victims of the suicide bombings.