STU­DENT MISS­ING

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

NEARLY a week af­ter Amer­i­can yeshivah stu­dent Aaron Sofer went miss­ing near Jerusalem, po­lice still have no leads on the cir­cum­stances of his dis­ap­pear­ance.

The in­volve­ment of the Shin Bet in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has prompted ru­mours of a ter­ror link and a pos­si­ble ab­duc­tion. How­ever, as yet there are no clear indi­ca­tions.

The 23-year-old New Jer­sey na­tive was walk­ing with a friend through the Jerusalem For­est on Fri­day morn­ing when the two de­cided to take dif­fer­ent paths. Mr Sofer has not been seen or heard from since.

Af­ter three days of searches in the wood­land, po­lice have sus­pended the phys­i­cal search and are now op­er­at­ing via in­tel­li­gence and se­cu­rity agen­cies.

Fol­low­ing the kid­nap and mur­der of three Is­raeli teenagers in June, there have been warn­ings of plans by ter­ror or­gan­i­sa­tions to carry out sim­i­lar at­tacks, but there has been no at­tempt so far by any group to claim re­spon­si­bil­ity for Mr Sofer’s ab­duc­tion.

The area in which he went miss­ing is not thought to be par­tic­u­larly dan­ger­ous and is well fre­quented by walk­ers and hik­ers.

The first cousin of the miss­ing boy, Rabbi Yeshua Aaron Sofer, who lives in the UK, said: “It’s a very dif­fi­cult time. We are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can and ap­peal­ing to the public for any leads. We just don’t know where to turn now.”

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