Israel says plan to attack parliament foiled
A 20-year-old Israeli Arab from a village in the western Galilee has been arrested in Jerusalem on suspicion of planning to carry out an attack at the Israeli parliament (Knesset building), according to details of an investigation released Monday.
The suspect denies the accusations against him.
According to Haaretz, Israeli police believe he planned to seek employment with one of the building contractors working at the Knesset to examine the possibility of carrying out attacks at the parliament.
According to the police, the suspect has succeeded over the past few months in putting together the equipment needed to carry out an attack, using information he found on the Internet.
The man was arrested February 13 as he was leaving the area of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The suspect strenuously denies the charges against him. He said he has never seen the Knesset, and that the police had already established his innocence. He expressed fears that he was arrested only because he is a devout Muslim.
"I do not deny that I am a religious and devout man," the suspect told Haaretz. "When I went to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, they saw me walking with someone suspicious, and so they arrested me. I did not plan anything and I did not want to hurt anyone."
The suspect's defense attorney, Riad Anis, said that according to information he had received from his client, the suspect had never planned to carry out attacks. "You know that many cases have been opened with great fanfare and ended in nothing," the lawyer said.
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