The Arab terrorist who carried out a truck ramming terror attack targeting Israeli soldiers on Sunday belonged to a relatively new terrorist group, the group claims.
The Arab terrorist murdered four Israeli soldiers and wounded another 17.
The group calls themselves “the martyr of Baha Alyan collective,” naming themselves after one of two Arab terrorists that carried out a combined shooting and stabbing attack on a bus in Jerusalem in October 2015.
Alyan was shot and eliminated during the attack, which murdered two Israelis and a US-Israeli dual national, while his accomplice Bilal Abu Ghanem has been sentenced to life in prison.
After claiming to be behind the attack in a statement circulated online, the “collective” proceeded to threaten “a torrent of unyielding quality attacks in defense of our Jerusalem and in revenge of our martyrs and prisoners.”
The group also hinted that its terrorists had been behind other attacks previously carried out.
A few hours after the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the terrorist, who was shot and eliminated at the scene, was “by all indications” a supporter of ISIS, and reference similar attacks in Nice and Berlin.
However, few additional details about terror connections have been released by the authorities.
The 28-year-old Fadi al-Qunbar, who has been identified as the terrorist, had previously been convicted on a charge of purchasing stolen vehicles, but was not on law enforcement’s radar for terror suspicions.
He purchased the cars in 2008, was indicted in 2010, and two years later in 2012 reached a plea deal resulting in a suspended 2-year sentence with 200 hours of community service and was fined NIS 1,000 ($250).
Immediately following the terror attack, police stormed the terrorist’s home, and cordoned off his neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem. Several of his relatives have been detained.
Terrorist’s relatives knew of his intentions to carry out an attack targeting Israelis. Authorities are still working to determine whether any family members helped him to plan the attack or if some may have attempted to persuade him not to do it.
The terrorist’s sister said that “God chose him for this martyrdom. Thank God. We are patient and we thank God for this… it is the most beautiful martyrdom.”
She was arrested as part of the police raids following the attack, but was released shortly after.