After Israel Arrests Perpetrator Of Jerusalem Double Bombing, ISIS Supporters Highlight Bomber's Ties To Organization, Al-Qaeda Supporters Accuse Pro-Iran Media Of Falsely Taking Credit

December 28, 2022

On December 27, 2022, Israel's Shin Bet security agency and police announced that the perpetrator of a November 23 double bombing in Jerusalem which killed two Israeli civilians and injured more than twenty[1] had been arrested on November 29, and named him as Eslam Froukh, a 26-year-old mechanical engineer from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr 'Aqab. The Shin Bet added that Froukh acted alone, "out of Salafi-jihadi ideology identified with the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization" and used guides obtained on the internet to learn to make the bombs used in the attack.

In the days following the attack, security forces found several items near the town of Ma'ale Adumim which were apparently used in the attack, including a motorized scooter, five pipe bombs, spare clothes, and a helmet. They also located the site near Ramallah where Froukh tested his explosive devices and seized explosives, a makeshift submachine gun and a primed bomb similar to the ones used in the Jerusalem attack from there. Security forces suspect Froukh intended to use these items to perpetrate an additional attack.[2]

Following the revelation of the bomber's identity, jihadis on Telegram commented. Supporters of ISIS highlighted the attacker's affiliation with the organization and noted the deadliness of the operation, claiming that only ISIS, and not rival Palestinian and Iran-backed groups, perpetrates such lethal attacks against Israel. A pro-Al-Qaeda channel similarly accused Iran-backed Palestinian groups of having falsely appropriated the attack, while refraining from mentioning Froukh's support for ISIS.

Pro-ISIS Channels Praise Bomber, Claim Only ISIS Perpetrates Such Lethal Attacks Against Israelis

On December 27, a pro-ISIS Telegram channel posted a photo of the attacker, describing him as "a fierce lion who caused one of the most effective strikes against the Jews" and asking Allah to "accept" his deed. Noting that "the politicians of the Rafidite [a pejorative term for Shi'ite] groups – Palestinian, Iranian, and Lebanese ones – celebrated the strike, its excellent planning, and exactness of its implementation," the channel added that it has now been revealed that the perpetrator is "one of the supporters of the Muslims' group [i.e. ISIS]," "and who other than them does [attacks] like this?" The pro-ISIS channel praised the attacker, asserting that although "the people of the Earth" had been unaware of his identity, "the inhabitants of Heaven" know him well, adding that now that his actions in support of ISIS have been publicized, "the [rival] organizations' tongues have become mute and the pens of their analysts and journalists have dried up."[3]

Another pro-ISIS channel also reported that Israeli authorities had announced the capture of the bomber and that he "belongs to the terrorizers [i.e. ISIS]." The channel posted a link to a new Telegram channel, where photos of the perpetrator and attack, along with additional details, were published.[4]

The new account mentioned the attacker's identity and added that he was arrested because he "embraced the Islamic creed of the terrorizers" and that he confessed to his interrogators that he "supports and loves the terrorizers." Posting photos and a video showing Froukh placing one of the bombs and the site where he manufactured them, the pro-ISIS channel praised that he "took the proper measures and did not incline to Satan" by refraining from jihad. The channel also posted a photo showing the body of one of the bombing victims and another of Froukh in Israeli custody, adding: "May Allah free him."[5]

Pro-Al-Qaeda Channel: Pro-Iran Media Falsely Takes Credit For Attacks Like This By Palestinians

A pro-Al-Qaeda Telegram channel also noted that Israeli authorities had announced the identity of the bomber and that he designed, produced, and remotely detonated the bombs on his own. The channel posted photos of Froukh and the scene of one of the bombings. In a separate post, the channel wrote an "important notice," accusing the "sectarian militias linked to Iran" and pro-Iranian media of "climbing on every operation that occurs in Palestine" and taking credit for it by forging or misquoting Israeli statements to give the erroneous impression that "the Iranian alliance is behind everything." The channel noted that at the time of the November 23 Jerusalem attacks pro-Iranian groups acted similarly, but their claims have now been proven false.[6]

The pro-Al-Qaeda channel made no mention of Froukh's support for ISIS.

It should be noted that although Israel and the Palestinian territories have not been a major site of ISIS activity, the organization has claimed a handful of attacks over the years targeting the Jewish state, its Jewish population, and its economic interests. Most recently, two attacks which occurred in late March 2022 were perpetrated by ISIS supporters: A car-ramming and stabbing attack in the city of Beersheba, killing four Israeli civilians, perpetrated by Muhammad Abu Al-Qi'an, who had been in prison for trying to join ISIS in Syria; and a shooting in the city of Hadera which killed two border guards and injured twelve Israelis, carried out by cousins Ayman and Ibrahim Ighbariyeh, the latter of whom had also tried to travel to Syria to join ISIS. The jihadi organization published a video showing the Hadera attackers pledging allegiance to the ISIS leader and issued a claim taking responsibility for the attack, mentioning the Beersheba assault as well, and threatening: "The unbelieving Jews should know that our promises [to attack them] will reach them sooner or later, Allah willing."[7]



[3] Telegram, December 27, 2022.

[4] Telegram, December 27, 2022.

[5] Telegram, December 27, 2022.

[6] Telegram, December 27, 2022.

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