Intelligence agency says foiled plot was first to directly involve al-Qaida leader inside Israel

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Associated Press

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 22 at 1:30 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Analysts say it's the first time the leadership of al-Qaida has been directly involved in plotting an attack inside Israel.

The country's intelligence agency says it foiled what it called an "advanced" plan by al-Qaida to carry out a suicide bombing against the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and to bomb other targets. It says three Palestinians are in custody.

The intelligence agency says the Palestinians had planned on attacking a Jerusalem conference center with firearms, and then killing rescue workers with a truck bomb. It says al-Qaida was planning to send foreign militants to attack the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on the same day, using explosives supplied by the Palestinians.

Officials say the Palestinian men had been recruited by an operative based in the Gaza Strip who worked for al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri (AY'-muhn ahl-ZWAH'-ree).

A former head of an Israeli military intelligence unit that tracks al-Qaida says it was the first time al-Zawahri was directly involved in a plot inside Israel. He says it would have been seen as a "great achievement" for al-Qaida.

The intelligence agency says the plot also involved five men whose identity and nationality were not disclosed. They were supposed to fly into Israel with fake Russian passports to attack the American embassy.

%@AP Links

195-c-14-(Ian Deitch (deetch), AP correspondent)-"detonate the explosives"-AP correspondent Ian Deitch reports the Palestinians in the plot were allegedly going to focus on Israeli civilians. (22 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *195 (01/22/14)££ 00:14 "detonate the explosives"

193-c-12-(Ian Deitch (deetch), AP correspondent)-"targets inside Israel"-AP correspondent Ian Deitch reports on claims by Israeli authorities that they've foiled an al-Qaida-linked plot to carry out bombings, shootings, and kidnappings against the U.S. Embassy and Israeli targets. (22 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *193 (01/22/14)££ 00:12 "targets inside Israel"

APPHOTO NY116: FILE - This July 27, 2011, file image from a web posting by al-Qaida's media arm, as-Sahab, provided by IntelCenter, shows al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Israel on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, said it had foiled an "advanced" al-Qaida plan to carry out a suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and bomb other targets, in what analysts said was the first time the global terror network's leadership has been directly involved in plotting an attack inside Israel. The Shin Bet intelligence agency said it had arrested three Palestinians who allegedly plotted bombings, shootings, kidnappings and other attacks, and that the men were recruited by an operative based in the Gaza Strip who worked for al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. (AP Photo/IntelCenter, File) (27 Jul 2011)

<<APPHOTO NY116 (07/27/11)££

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