Israeli police have arrested six suspects in connection to the murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped from his home last week in East Jerusalem and is believed to have been beaten and then burned to death. Unnamed officials told the Washington Post that the suspects have "nationalistic" views, only further stoking speculation that Khdeir was killed as an act of revenge for the deaths of three Israeli teenagers.
According to NPR, the six arrested by Israeli police are other teenage boys, and are believed to be connected to a failed kidnapping attempt just a day before Khdeir was abducted:
Israeli police and the Shin Bet security service say "several Jewish youths have been arrested" in connection with Abu Khdeir's killing. Another Israeli official tells NPR that six "young males" were arrested.
The official says the suspects are from Jerusalem, the nearby city of Beit Shemesh and Adam, a West Bank settlement near Jerusalem. He said police had located the car they used to kidnap Abu Khdeir and that a security camera had caught parts of the abduction.
The day before Abu Khdeir's kidnapping, there had been another attempt to kidnap a young boy and authorities believe the two incidents are linked, the official said.
Alleged video of plainclothes Israeli officers beating Khdeir's cousin, 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir from Florida, emerged Saturday. He was sentenced to nine days of house arrest following accusations that he was among a group of people that attacked Israeli officers. According to the Washington Post, an official from the U.S. Consulate General attended Tariq Abu Khdeir's hearing.
"We will continue to monitor the situation closely. We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
[Image from Mohammed Abu Khdeir's funeral via AP]