Terrorists planned on dressing up as religious Jews before entering a wedding hall and shooting as many guests as possible. They were caught, but that ploy has worked before.

On Tuesday, the Jerusalem District court convicted three Arab residents of Jerusalem for conspiring to carry out a terror attack on a wedding hall in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem last month.

Anas Awisat, Basel Abidat and Ahmed Sorour, had planned on dressing up as ultra-orthodox Jews before entering the wedding hall, posing as guests, in order to shoot everyone there.

According to Channel 10, the terrorists selected that particular venue because Awisat had been employed at the hall and was familiar with the premises. He knew that events there usually had an attendance upwards of 1,000 people, facilitating the murder of a large number of Jews at once.

A joint operation by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Israel Police revealed that the three had made contact with a Palestinian-Arab arms dealer, who sold them two small machine guns and an Uzi for $50,000.

During the month of December, the terrorists visited the building to survey its layout, determining where entrances and exits were located. However, they were caught before they could carry out their plans.

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), since last summer, Hamas has been encouraging would-be attackers to disguise themselves as religious Jews when leaving on a terror mission. Hamas repeatedly broadcasts a video encouraging such attacks, including tutorials on how to dress.

This is not a new phenomenon, however, as suicide bombers and kidnappers have long been instructed to dress as Jews in order to blend in with the crowd before committing an attack.

In the 2001 Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing in downtown Jerusalem, terrorist Ahlam Tamimi dressed as an Israeli university student before entering the permises. He killed 15 people and wounded more than 130.

This past summer, the two terrorists who kidnapped and murdered three teenagers – Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrah – disguised themselves as religious Jews and specifically acquired a vehicle with Israeli license plates in order to trick the boys into thinking it was safe to enter the car.

The recent massacre at a Jerusalem synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood was carried out by terrorists who worked at a neighborhood grocery store. The terrorist who shot Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a Temple Mount equal-rights activist, outside of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center was employed by the Terasa restaurant located inside the building.

By: Penina Taylor, United with Israel