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American-Israeli arrested on terror charges

court_hammerIsraeli police and security forces have announced the arrest of an American-born West Bank settler for an alleged string of attacks and murder plots against Arabs, homosexuals, leftists, messianic Jews and police forces.

“He was like a serial killer. This guy was a Jewish terrorist who targeted different types of people,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. “He was deeply involved in terrorism on all different levels”.

Yaakov (Jack) Teitel, 37, was arrested last month in Jerusalem after hanging posters in support of an attack on the gay youth club in Tel Aviv in August this year that killed two people. Teitel initially claimed responsibility for the murder, but police say they are still unsure about the identity of the shooter.

According to police, the long series of attacks began in 1997, when Teitel entered Israel as a tourist and managed to smuggle a handgun on board a British Airways flight to Tel Aviv. Teitel’s first victim, police said, was Samir Balbisi, an east Jerusalem cab driver who was shot and killed. Two months later, the same gun was used to shoot and kill a Palestinian shepherd in the South Hebron Hills. Teitel was interrogated by police following the second killing but denied any involvement in the act and was later released.

Teitel moved to Israel in 2000, into the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, married and has four young children. According to Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency, Teitel’s father, who now lives in Israel as well, served as a dentist in the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War. It is believed Teitel was introduced to weapons and explosives during his time living on American military bases.

In 2008 Teitel allegedly planted a bomb inside a package delivered to a house of a messianic Jewish family. Ami Ortiz, a 15 year old boy suffered serious injuries in the attack, police said. Next on Teitel’s list of targets, police said, was Israel Prize laureate Zeev Sternhal.

Teitel admitted in planting explosives at Sternhal’s doorstep in September last year. Sternhal, a prominent left-wing activist was lightly wounded, according to police. Harsh questions were raised in the Israeli press Monday on how an alleged killer was able to escape the hands of the law for over 12 years and emphasized the difficulty of security forces in tracking Israeli terrorists.

Shin Bet described Teitel as a lone wolf who did not confess his acts to anyone and carefully calculated his moves in order not to get caught. He did not learn the Hebrew language in all his years in Israel, they said.

Source: CNN

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