June 3, 2024 | Flash Brief

Shin Bet Foils Hamas Terror Plot Tied to Turkey

June 3, 2024 | Flash Brief

Shin Bet Foils Hamas Terror Plot Tied to Turkey

Latest Developments

Israel’s Shin Bet security agency in March thwarted a terrorist plot inside Israel being planned by Hamas operatives in Turkey. In a June 3 statement, the agency confirmed that on March 15, it arrested Hamas operative Anas Shurman in the West Bank city of Nablus, suspecting him of being involved in a bomb plot.

During his interrogation, Shurman — a resident of Jordan — revealed that he had been recruited by Turkey-based Hamas operative Imad Abid in December 2023, agreeing to carry out a suicide bombing inside Israel on behalf of the Iran-backed terrorist organization. Shurman then recorded a last will, took motorcycle lessons to assist him in executing the attack, and received funding and instructions on how to carry out the attack and where to collect the explosive device. The Shin Bet later discovered a 26-pound pipe bomb hidden near a spring in the West Bank, with instructions on how to use it.

Shurman was charged with several serious offenses, including “attempting to intentionally cause death” and membership in a terrorist organization. The Shin Bet said that it also arrested five other Nablus residents on suspicion of being members of a terrorist cell that received instructions from another Turkey-based Hamas operative, Hudhayfa Salameh.

“The investigation reveals the entrenchment of the Hamas headquarters in Turkey and its involvement in directing terror attacks in Israeli territory,” the Shin Bet said.

Expert Analysis

“Erdogan has patronized Hamas since 2011. Turkey’s choice to invest in this terrorist entity has thus far yielded Hamas fundraising, recruitment, and diplomatic benefits. It is now apparent that Erdogan’s Turkey is increasingly becoming a terrorism sanctuary and a staging ground to nurture militants who intend to carry out terror attacks. It is incumbent upon the U.S. State Department and Congress to monitor developments and, more importantly, to hold the Ankara regime accountable.” Sinan Ciddi, FDD Non-Resident Senior Fellow

“Erdogan’s open embrace of Hamas, along with his demonization of Israel, is emboldening terrorists long harbored in Turkey. With what seems to be a tactic of distraction to downplay the 75 percent inflation rate and economic turmoil in Turkey, Erdogan’s derogatory statements and actions towards Israel are facilitating the creation of new terror cells targeting Israelis.” Tyler Stapleton, Director of Congressional Relations at FDD Action

Erdogan’s Support for Hamas

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Justice and Development Party (AKP), has long given Hamas operatives a haven in Turkey — permitting the group to operate a headquarters in Istanbul since 2011 and providing passports to top Hamas operatives, including Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh. Erdogan openly met with Haniyeh on April 20, praising the group by calling it a “liberation movement.” On May 14, the London-based The Times reported that Israel Defense Forces soldiers uncovered documents at the home of a high-ranking Hamas terrorist outlining plans to establish a base in Turkey.

During an interview on May 12, Erdogan said “Netanyahu has reached a level that would make Hitler jealous with his genocidal methods.” On May 1, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan announced that Turkey would seek to join South Africa’s “genocide” case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, and on May 2, Ankara suspended all trade with Israel.

Erdogan’s Turkey: Champion of Hamas, and an adversary of the West,” by Sinan Ciddi

Secret Document Discovered in Gaza Reveals Hamas Plan to Establish Base in Turkey,” FDD Flash Brief

Turkey Suspends Trade With Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Chief Meets Turkish President, Considers Move From Qatar to Turkey,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

Israel Israel at War Turkey