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The ICT Database Team is pleased to present a brief overview of the terrorist incidents and counter-terrorist actions that occurred worldwide in November 2014. The incidents covered in this month’s report join the over 35,000 previously-recorded terrorist and counter-terrorist incidents in the ICT database.
This month’s report covers terrorist incidents throughout the world, with special emphasis in Middle East, specifically in Israel. On 18 November, five people were killed and eight others injured, when two Arab militants, who were identified as cousins Uday Abu Jamal, 22, and Ghassam Abu Jamal, 32 from Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem, entered the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue, in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, at approximately 0700, armed with a butcher’s knife, axe and a gun. The men attacked the praying congregants.
Witnesses said the militants attacked worshippers, stabbing them before opening fire. Approximately 30 worshippers were in the midst of the morning prayers, wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries. Witnesses reported that the attackers shouted, “Allahu Akbar!” before proceeding to kill and maim the victims.
Police who arrived at the scene shortly after the attack began, engaged in a firefight at the synagogue’s entrance with the attackers and fatally shot the perpetrators. Two police officers were injured and one of them was identified as Druze police officer Master Sergeant Zidan Nahad Seif, 30, of Yanuh-Jat, who died of his injured several hours later.
Police identified the victims as Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 43, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, and Rabbi Kalman Ze'ev Levine, 55, all residents of the same street in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.
It was initially reported that the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility for the attack. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack but did not directly claim responsibility for it.
Following the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the demolition of the homes of the militants who perpetrated the attack and directed that enforcement against those who incite toward terrorist attacks be significantly increased.
November 2014 was also marked by terrorist incidents in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Russia, Somalia, and Syria.
This month’s report also covers counter-terrorist incidents throughout the world, with particular emphasis on events in South America specifically in the Peru. On November 11, Peruvian authorities charged Mohammed Amadar, a Lebanese man who was arrested in Lima in October 2014 and who confessed to being a member of Hezbollah and had been found with traces of explosives.
Authorities said Amadar, surveyed potential Jewish and Israel targets in the capital, but police did not say what charges would be pressed against himd. Police found traces of TNT on Amadar’s hands and in the apartment where he was staying. The suspect was reportedly gathering intelligence on Jewish institutions and places frequented by Israeli hikers. Authorities said that they were questioning Amadar to learn more about his intended targets.
It was reported that Amadar arrived in Peru in November 2013 and married a woman with both Peruvian and American citizenship just two weeks later. The couple left for Brazil, and then returned to Peru in early 2014.
Peruvian authorities were tipped off to Amadar’s alleged activities by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, and he was questioned after returning to Peru. Authorities kept him under constant surveillance, discovering that neither he nor his wife worked, but received Western Union money transfers, a method often used by Hezbollah.