On December 7, the Syrian intelligence arrested a cell of ISIS linked to the December 5 terrorist attack in the city of Homs, according Syrian pro-government sources. 8 civilians including college students were killed in the attack that targeted a public bus in the city. Back then, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq confirmed that ISIS was behind the attack and claimed that 11 soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) were killed in it.
The detained ISIS cell included four members and was led by a college student named “Omar Saleh Sabagh” from Aleppo. According to sources, Omar was the one who planted an IED inside the public bus on December 5 upon orders from ISIS. After the attack Omar and his cell moved to Damascus were they were arrested.
Over the last few months, ISIS cells have made several attempts to conduct terrorist attacks against soft targets in Homs. On November 29, the Syrian Intelligence foiled a double terrorist attack in the city, after successfully arresting two suicide bombers.
The December 5 attack in Homs confirms ISIS is now planning to focus on terrorist attacks against soft targets in the government-held areas. The Syrian intelligence and security forces will have to improve their security measures to avoid the growing threat.