This is the second time within a year that the Israeli Shin Bet has uncovered an al-Qaeda terror cell on the West Bank that planned to execute a terror attack in Israel. News regarding the recent arrest of the cell was released only this week on Jan. 22. According to the Shin Bet, the cell that was captured received orders from Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s heir as al-Qaeda leader. Two members of the cell are residents of east Jerusalem and the third one lives in Jenin. The three planned attacks on the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, on Israel's Convention Center in Jerusalem and on buses in the area. Members of the earlier al-Qaeda cell organized in the West Bank were killed in a joint Shin Bet-IDF (Israel Defense Forces) operation about a year ago, in the Yatta village in the southern Hebron Hills.
The emergence of world jihad cells in the West Bank is of great concern also to Palestinian security forces, and the battle against them is a joint interest of both parties. The implications of a mega terrorist attack against Israel from the West Bank is clearly apparent to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and his security forces. The authority is fighting with considerable effort to prevent organized terror on the part of known organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as organizations of world jihad cells that have recently emerged on its territory.