(Communicated by Israeli security sources)

Said Ahras, a senior Hamas terrorist who planned an attack against IDF forces was arrested on February 21, 2005, in a joint ISA, IDF and Israel Police operation.

Said Ahras, 22, originally from the village of Fara’on in the area of Tulkarm, was a student at Najah University in Nablus, and one of the leaders of the "Kutla Islamia" (a student group involved in terrorist activity) in the university. In the last several months, following the arrest of senior Hamas terrorists in the area of Nablus, Ahras became a key figure among the terrorists of the Iz A-din Al-Qasam Hamas faction in the area.  

Ahras was supposed to be one of the suicide bombers in a double suicide bombing attack for the Hamas in Rosh Ha’ayin in July 2004, which was thwarted by IDF forces when several of the cell members involved in the planning of the attack were arrested. Explosive devices meant for the attack were handed over to the IDF and detonated in a controlled manner.

A short while after the attack was thwarted, Ahras took part in planning and carrying out a combined attack in which terrorists activated explosive devices and opened fire at a civilian bus moving along Route 5 in Samaria on August 10, 2004. Three Israeli civilians were wounded in the attack.

Ahras was recently involved in enlisting Hamas operatives for a cell to plan and carry out attacks. He employed a network of assistants to purchase weapons and explosive materials. Several of the cell members were arrested by IDF forces in the past few weeks.

Recent information reveals that Ahras was currently in the last stages of planning an attack on IDF forces in the area of Nablus, meant to sabotage the recent agreements with the Palestinian Authority. For the attack, Ahras was to receive several powerful explosive devices from the Hamas terrorist infrastructure in Nablus. His arrest thwarted the planned attack, as well as additional plans for terrorist attacks by the Hamas infrastructure in Nablus.