TEL AVIV – Islamic State supporters welcomed Wednesday’s attack in Jerusalem, calling the three terrorist perpetrators of the mayhem “martyrs” who acted in the name of Islam despite their Western looks and behavior.
“Even though the perpetrators of today’s attack in Jerusalem wore jeans, smoked Marlboro cigarettes and had a Western hairstyle, they are considered martyrs by Allah and his followers,” Abu Aysha Aldamashky, a Syrian who identifies as a supporter of IS, tweeted.
بنطلون جينز,قصة شعر غربية ,دخان مالبورو ,بلوزة نص كم
لكنهم باذن الله شهداء عند ربهم
شهداء فلسطين اليوم في القدس pic.twitter.com/9Ai5Ysm0Ip
— أحمد أبو فرحة (@ahmadabufarha21) February 3, 2016
One of Abu Aysha’s followers on Twitter suggested that their Western appearance was a decoy. Another wrote that “despite their secular appearance they did what many religious people failed to do.” A third one protested: “Who are the Salafists to decide what’s the right garb?”
Meanwhile, Fatah’s official Facebook page featured cartoons of young Palestinians stomping an Israeli soldier. Fatah also posted a photo of the three attackers, replete with the caption: “These are three men who fought to the death. They tramped on the occupier and set an example.”
In Wednesday’s attack, three terrorists armed with a rifle, knives and an explosive device perpetuated a combined shooting and stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, one of the main entrances leading into the Old City.
Two female Border Guards and a civilian were wounded in the attack. One of the guards, identified as Hadar Cohen, 19, was critically wounded and later died from her injuries. The second guard, a 20-year-old, was seriously wounded.
The Jerusalem Post reported Palestinian sources identified the three terrorists as Ahmed Rajeh Zakarneh, Mohamed Ahmed Kmail and Ahmed Najeh Abu Al-Rub. The sources told the Post all three suspects hailed from the town of Qabatiya in the Jenin area of the northern West Bank.
Haaretz reported on the evolution of the attack:
A preliminary probe into the attack has revealed that two men raised the suspicion of Border Police officers stationed near the Damascus Gate. When asked to show their IDs, one of the two suspects drew a semi-automatic pistol and opened fire. Meanwhile, a third attacker emerged and stabbed one of the officers.
A Border Police officer who was stationed there with Hadar Cohen, the policewoman who was killed in the attack, said that he approached two men sitting on a bench and asked them for their IDs. “When I told them, ‘Hello, show me you IDs,’ one of them stood up, opened his coat, took out a Carl Gustav and hit me with it on the head,” he said. “I took a few steps back and saw that he was aiming at me and was about to pull the trigger. I pushed away his gun, took two steps back, cocked my gun and shot him.”
The officer says that when he turned around, he saw another attacker stabbing a policewoman with a utility knife. “I raised my gun and put a bullet in him,” he said.
According to Haaretz, the officer said he only then saw the third attacker after he heard shots being fired.
Added the newspaper:
He and others started running toward the assailant, when they saw that he was holding an improvised firearm. “I took out my gun as I was getting closer, but he was running and shooting. We came at him from three directions and shot him until he was neutralized.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.