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Yahya Ayyash
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    (February 22, 1966-January 5, 1996)
    Born in Rafat, West Bank
    Chief bombmaker for Hamas
    Led the West Bank battalion of the al-Qassam Brigades
    Nicknamed 'The Engineer'
    Assassinated by the Israeli security agency Shin Bet using a cell phone containing explosives
    He recruited suicide bombers to blow up themselves and as many Israeli civilians as possible.
    He orchestrated bombings that killed 90 people.
    In the month after his death, retaliatory bombings killed 60 Israelis.
    The Palestinian Authority named a street in the capital of Ramallah after him.
    As a child, he received an award from the Islamic Trust for his talent in memorizing the Koran.
    He joined Hamas after Israeli authorities denied him permission to travel to Jordan to pursue a masters degree in engineering.
    The Palestinian Authority cooperated with Israel in tracking him.
    Shin Bet got the cell phone to an associate of Ayyash who agreed to work with them, telling him that the phone was bugged so they could listen in on Ayyash's conversations, but omitting the whole 'also, there's enough explosives in there to blow someone's head off' part.

Credit: C. Fishel

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