Jerusalem, 22 July 2001

Arafat bodyguard arrested; admits involvement in deadly terrorist attacks
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Office Press and Information Division)

Several days ago, the security forces detained for questioning Enis Mahmoud Namoura, a resident of Dura, near Hebron.

Enis is a Palestinian officer with the rank of second lieutenant serving in Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s special protection unit and acts as one of Arafat’s bodyguards whenever the latter is in Bethlehem, Ramallah or Hebron.

The Palestinian Authority sent Enis to Algiers for military studies during 1995-99. There he underwent various training courses, including a lengthy one in sabotage, with emphasis on assembling and detonating bombs.

In recent months, while he was serving as one of Arafat’s bodyguards, Enis joined a Tanzim group led by Marwan Zaloum. Since the events of last October, this group has carried out many attacks in Hebron involving shooting and the use of bombs activated by cellular phones.

During his interrogation, Enis furnished information on his activities, as well as those of his comrades.

Enis has admitted – inter alia – to participating in the July 9, 2001 shooting attack near Adorayim in which Maj. Shai Cohen was killed; Enis has provided the names of others who were involved in the attack.

Moreover, Enis admitted having links to the activities of Salam Daraouwi and Ibrahim Vehaadna, two Tanzim activists who were killed in Beit Tzafafa on July 16, 2001, on their way to perpetrate an attack in Jerusalem.

For several days last month, Enis served as one of Arafat’s bodyguards while the latter was in Ramallah, i.e. he was engaged in terrorist activities while he was carrying out his official functions.