Israeli authorities today announced the arrest of three global jihadists who were allegedly preparing to carry out terror attacks after being recruited by an al-Qaeda-linked operative in the Gaza Strip. The three terrorists were identified as Iyad Mahmoud Khalil Abu Sara, Rubin Abu Nagma, and Ala Yasin Mohammed Anam.

The arrested Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem area were recruited online and planned to carry out kidnappings and bombings at the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem as well as the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, among other attacks. Israeli authorities kept their counterparts in the “US and elsewhere” updated on their investigation, Israeli security sources said.

According to the Shin Bet, the three had been recruited separately by a Gaza-based operative called Oreib al Sham. “Senior Shin Bet sources said they believed Al-Sham received his orders directly from the head of al-Qaeda’s central structure, Ayman Al-Zawahri,” the Jerusalem Post reported. The unconfirmed claim “is based on statements made by the suspects during questioning,” Haaretz noted. According to Haaretz, al Sham told the recruits that he worked for Zawahiri.