Shin Bet Found Terrorist with Computer-Generated Composite
On Thursday, a terrorist had opened far on a busy bar in Tel Aviv and then seemingly disappeared, leaving the Israeli security forces scrambling to locate him. The first break for the authorities came when security footage helped them spot Ra’ad Hazem near the Ilka bar, where he opened fire, leaving three people dead and a dozen more wounded.
However, Shin Bet officers, the police and the military were not able to get more than a fuzzy picture of the man they were looking for because the footage was a bit too blurry. According to a Friday night report, this is when the technology team of Shin Bet had decided to step in and make an effort to build a clear picture of the man in question.
The team built an image of the man using a combination of artificial intelligence, photo processing technology and intelligence information that could be used by the security forces to locate him. According to the report, there is also a possibility that the team used existing pictures of Hazem and facial recognition technology. But, reports have shown that Israeli authorities did not have a record of the man. Once the technology team was able to sharpen the grainy image into a clear picture, they distributed it quickly amongst those who were part of the manhunt.
Hailing from the northern West Bank, Hazem had been hiding about 3.5 miles from where he had launched his attack, close to a mosque in Jaffa. Officers of the Shin Bet security service and the counter-terrorism unit of the Yamam police took him down. The Shin Bet disclosed that he did not have a criminal record, or a ‘clear organizational affiliation’.
Media reports dictated that two officers of the Shin Bet had driven to the mosque in order to search the area. Upon their arrival, they had come across a suspicious individual matching the description of Hazem.
The two officers had gotten out of the car and asked him to surrender. Initially, Hazem had raised his hands in surrender, but then drew a gun and fired at the officers, who responded in a similar manner and killed him.
On Friday morning, Kobi Shabtai, the Police Commissioner said that the IDF and Shin Bet had succeeded in killing the terrorist, thanks to intelligence and operational cooperation. Shabtai added that they had said they would find the terrorist, no matter how long it took and they had done so.
He said that they had taken two paths to go after the terrorist, intelligence and operation, and the operation had come to an end when they were able to kill Hazem. Media reports also indicated that the Shin Bet believes Hazem was planning on carrying out another attack, as he had about 10 bullets still left when he was killed.
However, it remains unclear if they came to this conclusion due to the number of bullets remaining in the gun’s magazine alone. This is because Hazem’s decision to hide and not launch another attack kind of undercuts their assessment.