Two British consulate employees in Jerusalem arrested for terrorist plot

They are not British nationals, but rather local Palestinians hired as maintenance men at the consulate in Jerusalem. But that shouldn't make the Brits feel any better about it. Their vetting regime is obviously inadequate and it makes you wonder if the Palestinian janitors may have picked up some intel here and there in their wanderings around the consulate.

The Telegraph reports:

Two Palestinians were charged by a court on Sunday with planning a rocket attack on Teddy Stadium, home to the Beitar football team.Three more Palestinians, two of them maintenance men employed by the British Consulate General, were arrested on suspicion of supplying them with guns. All five were arrested in November but the details have only now emerged following Sunday's court hearing.

A Foreign Office spokesman said that security and vetting procedures were being reviewed. He said all employees were vetted in co-ordination with the Israeli authorities "to a level appropriate to their job".

The Consulate-General plays an important political role in Israel and would be considered a major terrorist target, in common with diplomatic posts elsewhere in the Middle East. However, the authorities have said the men's arrests had "no connection to their work at the consulate".

The two men initially charged over the stadium plot, named as Mussa Hamada and Bassem Omari, were said to be members of Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip and is in a state of war with Israel. They were also alleged to have received financial support from the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia.

Failing to catch their membership in Hamas would seem to be a major blunder. Their contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia also suggests additional use for these janitors beyond the stadium terror plot. It also sounds as if authorities are whistling past the graveyard when they claim that the arrests had "no connection" to their duties at the consulate. It would be interesting to see what they base that conclusion on.




They are not British nationals, but rather local Palestinians hired as maintenance men at the consulate in Jerusalem. But that shouldn't make the Brits feel any better about it. Their vetting regime is obviously inadequate and it makes you wonder if the Palestinian janitors may have picked up some intel here and there in their wanderings around the consulate.

The Telegraph reports:

Two Palestinians were charged by a court on Sunday with planning a rocket attack on Teddy Stadium, home to the Beitar football team.

Three more Palestinians, two of them maintenance men employed by the British Consulate General, were arrested on suspicion of supplying them with guns. All five were arrested in November but the details have only now emerged following Sunday's court hearing.

A Foreign Office spokesman said that security and vetting procedures were being reviewed. He said all employees were vetted in co-ordination with the Israeli authorities "to a level appropriate to their job".

The Consulate-General plays an important political role in Israel and would be considered a major terrorist target, in common with diplomatic posts elsewhere in the Middle East. However, the authorities have said the men's arrests had "no connection to their work at the consulate".

The two men initially charged over the stadium plot, named as Mussa Hamada and Bassem Omari, were said to be members of Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip and is in a state of war with Israel. They were also alleged to have received financial support from the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia.

Failing to catch their membership in Hamas would seem to be a major blunder. Their contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia also suggests additional use for these janitors beyond the stadium terror plot. It also sounds as if authorities are whistling past the graveyard when they claim that the arrests had "no connection" to their duties at the consulate. It would be interesting to see what they base that conclusion on.




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