Israel’s Shabak Denies Rumored Bin Laden Link to Tel Aviv Bombing

Published June 19th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Israel’s internal security service, Shabak, has denied rumors spread via e-mail that the June 1 Tel Aviv suicide bombing was masterminded by the Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden. 

Shabak was contacted by the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharanot after thousands of Israelis received an e-mail note linking the Afghanistan-based radical Islamist to the bombing which killed 21 Israelis, in addition to the attacker, Said Hotari, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin. 

The anonymous e-mail claimed the bomber was sent by Bin Laden, basing the allegation on the “unfamiliar” type of the bomb, compared to the ones used in similar attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. 

In addition, these e-mails claimed that the bomber was in Tel Aviv for over a week, and that the police were aware of his presence, but couldn't locate him. That explains the closure of the central bus station in Tel Aviv a week earlier, according to the anonymous author. 

Based on this e-mail’s claims, the bomber originally targeted the US embassy in Tel Aviv, which is also located on the coast, but after going there and seeing that he could not pass the security checkpoints, he decided to attack another target.  

According to the e-mail, he had been hiding in Hassan Bek mosque.  

In the evening, he decided to go to the beach “and when he saw a lot of youth gathering he decided to blow himself,” said the e-mailed letter. 

Details of investigations into the bombing and the closure of the city’s bus station are under tight censorship by a court order obtained by the security forces. 

Bin Laden tops the US most-wanted list for his alleged role in 1998 twin attacks on embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which 213 people, including 12 Americans, were killed – Albawaba.com 

 

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