JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli security forces prevented a potentially lethal bomb attack in Jerusalem Sunday.
As commuters headed to work around 9 a.m., a young man with a shoulder bag caught the attention of security guards at a light rail stop near the intersection of King George Street and Jaffa Road.
When they approached him and asked to see the contents of his bag, he readily admitted he was armed. Security forces found three pipe bombs wired together, a detonator, cell phone and knives in his bag.
Police cordoned off the area and evacuated store workers and pedestrians as they searched for possible accomplices. Sappers were summoned to neutralize the bombs.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat later thanked the guards for averting what could have been a massive attack.
"This morning, thanks to the vigilance of the Jerusalem Municipality guards of the light rail, a major attack was prevented," the mayor said in a statement. "Our message to the public is to continue your routine, remain vigilant and never give in to terrorism."
Barkat has consistently admonished Jerusalemites that the way to defeat terror is not to allow it to defeat you.
On a Sunday in February 2015, Barkat was on his way to the office when he spotted an Arab youth attempting to stab an ultra-Orthodox man. Without hesitating, the mayor and his bodyguard exited the car and together disarmed the terrorist.
Barkat later told reporters how the incident unfolded.
"Without thinking, my bodyguard took out his weapon and when he aimed at the terrorist, the terrorist dropped his knife and we immediately tackled him to the ground to make sure that he could not continue with the terror attack," Barkat said at the time.
After subduing the attacker, they administered first aid to the injured man until police and an ambulance arrived.
Barkat, who served as a commander in the IDF, was wounded in the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006. He later launched a successful career in hi-tech before being elected mayor of Jerusalem in 2009.