Newsletter : 17fx0221.txt
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ISIS Fires 2 Rockets at Israel After Alleged Drone Strike Kills 4 Terrorists in
By Israel Hayom
Two rockets fired from the Sinai Peninsula hit southern Israel on Monday morning. The
projectiles exploded in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing no harm.
According to the military, sirens in the area were not triggered as Israel's air defenses
recognized that the rockets did not pose a threat to the residents. Sinai Province,
Islamic State's proxy in the desert peninsula, claimed responsibility for the attack.
A Negev Subdistrict Police official told Channel 2 News that police sappers were
dispatched to both sites, where they joined security forces in canvassing the areas for
the projectiles' remnants. Monday's rocket fire followed reports by the Islamic
State-affiliated Amaq news agency that four of the jihadi group's operatives were killed
on Saturday night in an Israeli drone strike in northern Sinai, near Egyptian Rafah. The
report said the strike targeted a cell preparing to fire rockets at Israel. The rockets
and lunches were also destroyed in the strike, the report said.
Sinai Province fired four rockets at the southern resort city of Eilat on February 8.
The Iron Dome defense system battery stationed in the city intercepted three projectiles,
while the fourth exploded in an open area, causing no harm.
ISIS Terrorist Discovered Plotting Chemical Attacks in Israel
In a joint operation, Israel Police, the Shin Bet internal security agency, and the
Israel Border Police's Special Police Unit arrested 35-year-old Anas Haj Yahiya, a
resident of the central Arab city of Tayibe. He is suspected of involvement in ISIS
activities. Israeli intelligence noted his activities promoting terror against the State
of Israel, and a Shin Bet investigation revealed his ties to ISIS terrorists. Yahiya
provided the ISIS with extremist materials, as well as information on how to make
After swearing allegiance to the ISIS "khalif" (spiritual leader), Yahiya debated
traveling to Syria to join the fighting. He intended to create an ISIS terror cell to
carry out attacks within Israel, and attempted to persuade other Arabs to join his new
Yahiya was planning on carrying out a terror attack on a Tel Aviv bus, as well as
carrying out an attack against IDF soldiers. However, he did not manage to organize the
attacks. Investigators discovered that Yahiya was an active member of ISIS Facebook
groups, and "shared" information on how to create suicide belts, bombs, and integrating
poisonous materials into the explosives. He also disseminated materials on how to produce
chemicals such as sarin gas.
Found in Yahiya's possession were pictures of military materials, bombs, and the ISIS'
"The Jihadist Militant's Complete Guide." An indictment against Yahiya has been filed with
the Central District Court.
"The Shabak sees ISIS supporters as a serious threat to Israel's security, and has
therefore taken every step possible to foil plans and threats as quickly as possible. We
will take every legal step possible to stop those who are involved in these activities," a
Shabak spokesperson said.
The indicted individual was a member of online terror group which was also visited by
other members of ISIS. Among other groups, Haj-Yahia frequented "Terrorists of the State",
"Allah will torture them in your hand," and "The Caliphate Foundation."
10 U.S. JCCs Targeted in 4th Wave of Bomb Threats
At least 10 Jewish community centers across the United States were targeted with bomb
threats on Monday, for the fourth time in five weeks. The threats have been called in to
JCCs across the country, according to Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community
Network an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America that advises Jewish
groups and institutions on security.
News reports indicated that threats were received by JCCs in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin;
St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and Birmingham, Alabama.
The threats were called in on Monday morning. It is not known if they were live calls
or recorded. "It appears to be the same serial caller" as in the prior incidents,
Goldenberg told JTA, adding that some of the JCCs were evacuated and others were not. "The
JCCs are very well-equipped to handle this," he said.
Goldenberg did not confirm where any of the threats occurred, saying they took place
across the country and that his office "is monitoring the situation." Goldenberg said the
fact that the threats were made on Presidents Day, when more people might be in the
buildings during the daytime, does not appear to be a factor in the threats.
Last week, President Donald Trump was asked during a news conference about the prior
JCC bomb threats and what the government's response would be to "an uptick in
anti-Semitism." Although the reporter did not suggest Trump was anti-Semitic, the
president answered by denying he is an anti-Semite and called the question "insulting."
The White House responded to a query about the latest string of bomb threats called in
to Jewish community centers by saying "these actions are unacceptable. Hatred and
hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of
individual freedom," reads a
statement, attributed to White House press secretary Sean Spicer that was shared Monday
afternoon by NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander. "The President has made it abundantly
clear that these actions are unacceptable."
Earlier Monday, in a statement saying the latest bomb threats are "alarming,
disruptive, and must always been taken seriously," the ADL called on unnamed "political
leaders" to condemn them. "We look to our political leaders at all levels to speak out
against such threats directed against Jewish institutions, to make it clear that such
actions are unacceptable, and to pledge that they will work with law enforcement officials
to ensure that those responsible will be apprehended and punished to the full extent of
the law," Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said in a statement.
Also on Monday, the JCC Association of North America said that since January 9 there
have been 69 bomb threat incidents at 54 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province. All
were hoaxes. "Our centers have in place security protocols to ensure the safety of the
program participants and facility visitors," said David Posner, director of strategic
performance at the JCC Association, in a statement. "All JCCs have now received the
all-clear from local law enforcement and resumed regular operations, with a heightened
level of security."
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