The bombs planted behind two bus stops at entrances to Jerusalem on Wednesday at the height of morning rush hour were packed with nails and marbles and were detonated remotely, a senior police official told Kan News.
“These were large bombs set off remotely,” he said. “They were placed in bags with nails and marbles in order to increase the number of casualties.”
Both bombs were activated remotely by cell phones and it is assumed that the attack was planned long in advance. According to a Ynet report, the attacks were perpetrated by several members of a well-organized terror cell who thoroughly planned the attacks well in advance.
The bombs were placed in bags next to bus stops that are normally teeming with people, especially during the morning rush hour, with the aim of causing as many casualties as possible. The terrorists detonated the first bomb remotely after making sure that the bus stop was crowded with people and then tried doing the same with the second bomb. B’Chasdei Hashem, the bus stop at Tzomet Ramot, which was crowded with Bais Yaakov girls and yeshivah bochurim, emptied out minutes before the attack.
According to a Maariv report, the first bomb was an especially powerful one and the second bomb was a bit less powerful. Police believe that one terrorist planted both bombs. He arrived at the first bus stop in Givat Shaul on an electric bike and after hiding the bomb behind the bus stop, he continued to Tzomet Ramot.
Following the attacks, 5,000 police officers and Shin Bet operatives were deployed across Jerusalem to scan bus stops out of fear that more bombs were placed at additional bus stops and to search for the terrorist. The police also deployed roadblocks throughout Jerusalem as part of a manhunt for the terrorist and out of fear of copycat attacks.
Police have raised the security alert to level 3. Investigators believe that the bombs were planned by a terror cell that includes an engineer who assembled high-quality powerful explosive devices.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)