Israel Security Agency head says over 1,100 ‘lone wolf’ terror attacks were thwarted in 2017, nearly tripling last year’s 400.

Over 400 terrorist attacks have been thwarted by Israeli security forces since the beginning of 2017, including 13 suicide bombing attacks and eight kidnappings, the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), Nadav Argaman, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (FADC)  Sunday.

Argaman added that over 1,100 potential ‘lone wolf’ attacks were also prevented in 2017, nearly tripling last year’s 400 prevented attacks. Only 54 attacks were successfully carried out this year, a 50% drop since 2016, when 108 successful attacks took place.

Despite the apparent effectiveness of the Israeli security forces, Argaman warned that this “current [period of] quiet is misleading,” citing the fact that ‘Hamas is cozying up to Iran and is constantly trying to carry out attacks from within Judea and Samaria.

Since the beginning of the year, 148 local Hamas cells were located and captured in Judea and Samaria, Argaman told the FADC.

The committee also discussed the involvement of Israeli Arabs in terror attacks. Argaman noted that there were eight such attacks in 2017, including the July attack on the Temple Mount, where three residents of Umm al-Fahm carried out a shooting attack on the holy site, killing two Israeli police officers, and a more recent attack at the beginning of December, when an IDF soldier was stabbed to death at a bus station in Arad by two Israeli Arab brothers.

Argaman also presented to the committee an update on some of the technological methods employed by the Shin Bet in order to thwart cyber attacks as well as to locate potential attackers.

“The Shin Bet has invested heavily in technological intensification and the development of new tools and abilities in the fields of technology and cyber,” Argaman said. “Throughout the year, multiple operations and advisories were thwarted in the cyber fields, in addition to actions carried out that have led to the obtaining of quality intelligence, which was used to thwart attacks and save lives.”

By: Yona Schnitzer/TPS

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