2 Israeli Arabs indicted for planning ISIS-inspired terror attack

Israeli security forces continue to operate against ISIS supporters in Israel.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

An Israeli court in Nazareth on Thursday indicted two Arabs with Israeli citizenship for supporting the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization and planning a terror attack on its behalf in Israel.

The two, residents of Arab towns in northern Israel and in their early 20’s, met in May while trying to cross into Syria from Turkey to join ISIS. They were told by Syrian refugees of the horrors in the country and decided to return to Israel.

After returning home, the two continued to consume ISIS online propaganda materials while planning to join ISIS in Iraq. Simultaneously, they began to plan a massive terror attack on the Golani Junction, a major traffic intersection north of the Sea of Galilee, and attempted to acquire weapons to carry out the attack.

A State Attorney representative said they hoped for a severe penalty, to match the severity of the offenses.

Ongoing Fears of ISIS Inspired Terrorism in Israel

Similarly, a Jerusalem court on Thursday sentenced an Arab with Israeli citizenship to two years in prison for his attempt to join ISIS in Syria, a serious security-related offense in Israel.

According to the indictment, Halil Halil, a 25-years-old resident of Abu-Tur in Jerusalem and a former employee of the Health Ministry, sought to join ISIS by travelling to Turkey to in January en route to Syria.

Halil was arrested by Turkish forces while he attempted to cross the border into Syria and was subsequently extradited to Israel.

Halil was also accused of establishing contact with a foreign agent in. The indictment describes how Halil first made contact with ISIS by way of social media videos and Facebook.

Over the past year, Israeli security forces have exposed several ISIS terror cells operating in Israel, comprised mostly of Arabs with Israeli citizenship. In total, over 40 suspects have been arrested.

The last big cell was exposed earlier this month. The five member cell planned terror attacks on behalf of ISIS.

Israel estimates that some 50 Israeli Arabs have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq over the past two years. At least ten of them have been arrested upon their return to the country and a few other have been killed in action while fighting with ISIS.

Israel fears that Arabs returning to Israel from fighting with ISIS will use their experience to establish terror networks and launch attacks within Israel, or that Arabs in Israel will be inspired by ISIS, and especially via social media, and will operate against the Jewish state and its citizens.

TPS contributed to this report.