Jerusalem, December 8, 2003
Hamas-trained terrorist, Canadian national, arrested by ISA
(Communicated by the GPO)
On November 1, 2003, Jamal Akal, 23, originally from Nuseirat was detained by the ISA; Akal has lived in Canada since 1999 and holds Canadian citizenship.
Akal arrived in the Gaza Strip just over one month ago, ostensibly on a family visit. During his investigation, it arose that during his visit, he was trained by Hamas in order to assassinate a senior Israeli official visiting the US and to attack members of the US and Canadian Jewish communities.
During his investigation, Akal admitted that several days after arriving in the Gaza Strip, he met with Ahmed Wahabe, a senior Hamas terrorist from Nuseirat. Wahabe told Akal that he had been recruited to Hamas and asked Akal if he could assist it in Canada. After Akal agreed, Wahabe instructed him to gather information (via the media) on a senior Israeli official who was arriving in the US. Wahabe instructed him to then monitor the senior Israeli official's movements and attempt to assassinate the official in a sniper attack. Wahabe also asked Akal to attack members of the US and Canadian Jewish communities, either by shooting or by bombing their homes and/or cars. Wahabe told Akal (inter alia): "New York is an easy place to find Jews." Wahabe asked Akal to use an M-16 that he would purchase in the US or Canada for the aforementioned attacks and advised him to train with an M-16 before returning to Canada.
Wahabe told Akal to contact people in the mosques that he prayed in in Canada and raise funds, ostensibly for the families of suicide bombers, which he would actually use for purchasing a weapon and financing his expenses in monitoring his prospective targets and in perpetrating the attacks.
Three days before Akal was due to return to Canada, Wahabe contacted him again, taught him how to use an M-16 (including practice shooting near Netzarim). Wahabe also gave Akal theoretical and practical instruction in making bombs.
Akal said that due to the uniqueness of the attack, he was due to receive the approval of the Hamas leadership in attributing responsibility for the attack to Al Qaida, not Hamas.
Following the April 30, 2003 attack on a Tel Aviv pub, which was perpetrated by terrorists who held British passports, the security services
have increased their readiness for the possibility that Hamas will uses foreign nationals in order to perpetrate attacks. Akal's arrest prevented a terrorist attack.