Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Bombing of Hassan Bek Mosque averted
The operation, dubbed "Violet Wreath," has been said to unearth a plot "stunning in its scope, sophistication and far-reaching ramifications," police sources said Tuesday. The police have 11 suspects in custody, including several family members from Jaffa, who were reportedly doing the bidding of a Jaffa attorney, who wished to settle several business disputes with the proverbial bang. According to police sources, the case dates back to several 2010 arson cases, which caused over a million dollars in damages.
Everything was ready – the gas had been pumped through special pipes into the building – and it was only a slight miscalculation in the gas-to-oxygen ratio which prevented a catastrophic blast from turning the building to cinder. The police were struggling with the case when a lead pointed them to the suspects – members of the Bakher family. The suspects had no criminal records, but surveillance revealed that one of them, A.A, was an explosives expert. He would later become a State witness.
The most nefarious scheme involved a large explosive device meant to assassinate a senior sheikh after Friday prayers at the Hassan Bek Mosque. The suspects were allegedly planning to use a remote detonator to trigger a car bomb which would have been parked at the entrance. The potential casualties among mosque goes would have numbered in the dozens. Witness testimonies reveal that they were planning to hide their tracks by spray painting the words "Price Tag" – a term used for reprisals carried out by far-right activists and settlements – nearby.
"This is a dangerous group of people whose victims were saved by a miracle," the Tel Aviv Police said. "They prepared explosive devices that could have flattened buildings let alone the consequences of the Mosque plan should it have succeeded. We prevented a huge catastrophe," the police said.