Israeli police arrest man for brothel attacks

Note: Prostitution of course is legal in Israel (as in most of the world outside the U.S.) and Tel Aviv is known as one of the brothel capitals of the world

JERUSALEM, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Israeli police said on Saturday they had arrested a 34-year-old Orthodox Jewish man in connection with a series of fires in Tel Aviv sex establishments that killed four women.

``Tel Aviv detectives this morning arrested the arsonist...the suspect is 34 years old, married and has a child. He was arrested following undercover police activities during the past few days,'' a police statement said.

A police spokeswoman said the man, who became religiously observant nine years ago, had confessed to carrying out the attacks in an attempt to save Jewish souls.

``He is due to appear in a Tel Aviv court later in the day,'' she said.

Two women burned to death and two died of smoke inhalation earlier this month in a blaze at a Tel Aviv apartment house, one of seven recent suspected arson attacks on sex shops, escort agencies and brothels.

The statement said the suspect told police during questioning that he carried out the attacks to ``clean the filth for ideological reasons.''

It said that police had found rags, petrol and a list of sites for future attacks in the man's car and house.