On Thursday, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Germany orchestrated the arrest of four people suspected of being members of HAMAS, the foreign terrorist organization.
Three of the suspects were apprehended in Berlin and one in Rotterdam following a European Arrest Warrant. The nationalities of the suspects include Lebanese, Egyptian, and Dutch.
They are accused of being part of Hamas, the Islamist militant group aiming to annihilate Israel and establish a Palestinian theocracy under Sharia law. Hamas is known for its suicide attacks against Israeli targets, abductions, targeted killings, and missile attacks.
The recent arrests are linked to the group’s involvement in a massive terrorist attack on Israeli territory on 7 October 2023 according to prosecutors’ statement.
Abdelhamid Al A., Mohamed B., Ibrahim El-R., and Nazih R. are alleged to have been longstanding members of Hamas, particularly involved with its military branch. They are accused of searching for an underground weapons cache in Europe, intended for potential terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions.
The suspects were actively involved in operations abroad and had connections with Hamas leaders in Lebanon. They are expected to be presented before the Investigating Judge at the Federal Court of Justice, where decisions regarding arrest warrants and charges will be made.
A few days ago, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned of potential safety dangers in the United States due to the ongoing war in the Middle East, particularly between Israel and Hamas. The agencies assessed that the conflict is likely to heighten the threat of lone actor violence targeting large public gatherings throughout the winter.
This included holiday-related, faith-based, New Year’s Eve, and First Amendment protected events related to the conflict. The FBI and DHS had previously issued two similar warnings in October following an attack by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7.
Since then, there has been a significant increase in reported threats, and officials have urged the public to remain calm but vigilant, especially against potential attacks targeting Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or Arab people. Additionally, there has been an increase in hoax bomb threats and active shooter threats targeting synagogues around the United States, likely intended to disrupt services and intimidate congregants. The announcement comes amid ongoing concern for public safety amid heightened tensions.
The United Nations General Assembly held an emergency session on the Israel-Gaza war, where the majority voted in favor of a ceasefire. However, the United States and Israel were among the ten nations that voted against this non-binding resolution.
Israeli forces have continued their military activities in Gaza and the West Bank. There’s been a prolonged raid in Jenin, leading to the arrest of up to 100 Palestinians. The conflict has led to significant casualties and displacement, with about 8,000 people reported missing or trapped under rubble in Gaza.
A wartime opinion poll among Palestinians shows a rise in support for Hamas, with almost 90 percent of respondents expressing a desire for the resignation of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. There have been reports of civilian casualties due to the ongoing conflict, as well as incidents involving civilians.