Middle East Terrorism Recap


18 May 2003

Six of seven victims of Palestinian suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem early Sunday have been identified. They are: Nili Perov, 55, Olga Brenner, 52, Shimon Ostinsky, 68, Marina Tzachovershvili, 44, Ronnie Nurel, 35 and Yitzhak Moyal, 64 – all from Pisgat Zeev, where they boarded bus.

Another 20 injured, 4 seriously, when Palestinian bomber dressed as religious Jew blew himself up aboard north Jerusalem 6 bus early Sunday in new wave of Palestinian suicide attacks. Sharon calls off Washington trip to meet US President Tuesday to deal with response.

Police barriers at northern approaches to Jerusalem prevented second suicide attack in city 20 minutes after first. A Palestinian bomber detonated charge at A-Ram junction outside Neve Yacov killing himself but causing no casualties.

In earlier attack, Saturday night, Palestinian suicide bomber - he too disguised as religious Jew - murdered an Israeli husband and wife, Gadi Levy, 31, and Dina, from Hebron suburb of Kiryat Arba, in Gross Square of West Bank town of Hebron.

Further north, two Palestinian terrorists shot dead in exchange of fire with Israeli troops while trying to raid Sharai Tikva on West Bank opposite Petach Tikva.

DEBKAfile: Upsurge of Palestinian terror staged from Arafat's Ramallah headquarters and villages just north of Jerusalem. It was timed for first encounter between Sharon and Abu Mazen, who met for three hours in Jerusalem Saturday night and agreed to meet again.

Hizballah fires two volleys into northern Israel Sunday. In south, another Qassam rocket from Gaza Strip targets Israeli town of Sderot

Mayor of Israeli Arab town of Umm Fahm is arrested Sunday in connection with suspected Islamic Movement’s financial ties with Hamas. Six of 17 members appeal to Tel Aviv district court against their detention

Saudi Arabia Terror

- Real Riyadh death toll 94 – not 34. Saudis present low figure to cover up extent of al Qaeda penetration

- Some al Qaeda assailants wore Saudi National Guard uniforms with keys to sentry booths in their pockets

Other Terror News

- Russians to Powell: New Chechen rebel leader is Mohammed al-Ghamedi, cousin of two Saudi 9/11 suicide bombers

Unofficial Casablanca casualty toll climbs past 40 dead and 100 injured in string of simultaneous suicide and bombing attacks at city center before dawn Saturday. Nine of dead appear to be terrorists.

Three caused by car bombs at Jewish “Alliance” community center, Belgian embassy and A Safir hotel, fourth near Spanish cultural center

At restaurant opposite Spanish center, 18 deaths reported. Israeli consul knows of no Israeli or Jewish casualties. Conflicting reports of casualties and damage at Jewish center and ancient synagogue, recalling al Qaeda April 2002 attack on Jerba Synagogue when Tunisian authorities long suppressed death toll of 21 and serious damage.

DEBKAfile sources attribute Casablanca attack to head of E. African al Qaeda cell Mohammed Fazul spotted Thursday in Mogadishu, prompting East Africa alert. More about Fazul in article below and DEBKAfile expose of November 30, 2002

Israeli airline El Al follows British airways in halting flights to and from Kenya in view of escalated terror alert in East Africa.

DEBKAfile reports Morocco is main American North African base where also some high Saddam regime officials captured by US forces in Iraq are being held and interrogated