Three Arab-Israelis charged with planning ISIS attack inside Israel

The three men reportedly practiced shooting, intended to fight with jihadists abroad, and then planned to return to Israel to commit terror attacks.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The Israeli Shin Bet security agency announced Monday afternoon that an indictment has been filed against three Arab Israelis associated with the ISIS terror group for a plot to carry out attacks within Israel as well as to join the group’s jihadist activities abroad.

Following a months-long investigation, Muhammad Farouk Yosef Agbaria, 21, and Abdel Mahdi Masoud Muhammad Jabarin, 21, were arrested in July 2022.

Both residents of Umm al-Fahm, an Arab city in northern Israel, Jabarin was previously investigated by authorities over his links to ISIS.

According to the indictment, Agbaria and Jabarin plotted to carry out a terror attack in Israel under the auspices of ISIS.

The pair, whom the agency said identify with “an extremist Salafi-Jihadist ideology,” had viewed online content associated with the terror group, including watching videos of beheadings and gory battlefield footage.

Both men had also recently applied for passports, with the goal of traveling abroad to join ISIS fighters. The agency said that Agbaria and Jabarin met with a third resident of Umm al-Fahm, who reportedly returned to Israel after undergoing ISIS training abroad.

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The men attempted to train for combat, adopting a fitness regime and practicing shooting in the lead-up to their journey. Because Jabarin had extensively researched ISIS fighting in Nigeria, it’s believed that the men had intended to travel to the West African country to support Islamist fighters there.

A week after Agbaria and Jabarin were detained, security forces arrested Muhammad Al-Rafaieh, 30, for his affiliation with ISIS.

Al-Rafaieh, a resident of a Bedouin community in the southern Negev desert, admitted to investigators that he “identified with the ISIS organization and supported the organization’s ideas and goals, and even carried out shooting training together with others, with the aim of joining the organization and fighting in its ranks in Israel when the time comes.”

In a statement, the Shin Bet pledged that it “will leverage all the measures at its disposal in order to [mitigate the risk posed by] extreme Islamic ideologies, and to thwart in advance any intentions to harm the security of the State of Israel…and will prosecute to [the fullest extent of the] law all those involved in terrorist activities.”

In late March 2022, two ISIS-affiliated Arab Israeli cousins from Umm al-Fahm opened fire at a bus stop in Hadera, killing two Border Police officers and wounding several civilians. The terrorists were killed during the attack.