FBI and Shin Bet Began Tracking 'Jewish Terrorist' Year Before Arrest

Teitel refuses to cooperate with his attorney, saying he does not recognize court's authority.

A year prior to Yakov "Jack" Teitel's arrest, the Shin Bet and the FBI were in close contact as part of an investigation into bombings targeting homosexuals, messianic Christians and left-wing figures, Haaretz has learned.

Teitel was arrested on October 7. However, the initial exchanges on the case between the two security services on the case began in October 2008, when a Shin Bet officer, code-named Ariel, contacted the FBI with a request for assistance in the investigation. Eventually, the authorities would come to suspect Teitel as the person behind the bombings.

Meanwhile, deliberations were held at the Jerusalem District Court Monday on Teitel's case. Teitel has refused to cooperate with his attorney, saying he does not recognize the court's authority and Monday it appointed two new defense lawyers, who are to respond to the charges against Teitel by next month.

The Shin Bet and the police were building a profile of the bomber as avenues of investigation had reached a dead end. One of the conclusions in the investigation was that the bomber probably was an American, which led to the cooperation with the FBI.

The Israeli authorities considered translating the pamphlets on how to make explosive devices the bomber had made for dissemination to other intelligence services in the hope of possibly finding a link through their data bases.

Haaretz has learned that in May 2009, two FBI agents visited Israel to assist in the Teitel case. The Shin Bet investigators were becoming increasingly convinced Teitel was the prime suspect. The FBI agents shared the information they had on Teitel's activities in the U.S.; he had a police record.

Teitel himself told the Shin Bet that in 2000, he fought with his landlord, who threw him out of the apartment. As he fled, Teitel used his car to hit the landlord's dog, and he reportedly carried an unlicensed pistol, fearing trouble with the police. He then fled to Israel.

The FBI played a two-fold role. It had information on Teitel but also probed cases involving Americans who have been targets of terrorism. The FBI began investigating such instances in the 1980s with the help of local authorities, and its office in Tel Aviv covers incidents in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The head of the office met with Lea and David Ortiz, whose son Amiel was badly injured in a Purim package bomb believed to have been sent by Teitel in March 2008.