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2 religious soldiers believed behind J'lem fake bomb

Haaretz/Jonathan Lis | July 20 2005

Two Israel Defense Forces soldiers from an infantry regiment of ultra-Orthodox troops were arrested on suspicion of placing the fake bomb at the Jerusalem central bus station last week, it emerged yesterday.

A Jerusalem court extended the remand of the two soldiers by eight days.

According to police, the two 20-year-old Nahal Haredi unit soldiers, Meir Bartel and Arie Katz, used their uniform to smuggle a bag containing the device into the station.

The suspects, who were caught on security cameras, were detained following a joint investigation of the Israel Police and Military Police.

One was arrested in his Jerusalem apartment, while the other was taken into custody at his army base.

During the investigation, police discovered that both suspects entered the station through the Jaffa Street entrance at approximately 6 P.M.

The primary suspect allegedly carried a military backpack containing the dummy bomb. A few minutes later, he was met by his accomplice. Both men proceeded upstairs to the third floor men's room, where the bag was left.

The fake bomb, to protest against the disengagement, included a gas balloon, a clock and some wires. A note in the bag read "the disengagement will blow up in our faces."

Passersby who noticed the 12-kilogram canister called the police, who sealed off the bus station for more than an hour before determining that the device was harmless.

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