Israeli Arabs Arrested for ISIS Plot

Othman Abed Elkian, an intern who had worked at Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon and disappeared 5 months ago to join the Islamic State (ISIS). (Photo: Barzilai Medical Center)

Othman Abed Elkian, an intern who worked at Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon and disappeared 5 months ago to join the Islamic State (ISIS). (Photo: Barzilai Medical Center)

Security officials have  arrested a group of Israeli Arabs who attempted to set up an ISIS cell in Israel.

An Israeli security official announced on Sunday the successful arrest of an Islamic State (IS or ISIS) terror cell that had begun to operate in northern Israel.

The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) apprehended, over the course of November and December, seven Arabs with Israeli citizenship on charges of membership in an illegal organization.

Adnan Jamil Ala a-Din, a 40-year-old former defender from Nazareth and the self-declared “Islamic State chief of staff in Palestine,” was the cell leader. He was fired from his legal position in September after voicing pro-terror comments during Operation Protective Edge.

The terror cell, located in the Arab village of Sakhnin in the lower Galilee, was comprised of brothers Karim and Charif Abu Salah, ages 21 and 30 respectively; their cousin Aala Mohammed Abu Salah, 28; Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Salah, 28, another relative; Fadi Bashir, a 29-year-old son of a former Sakhnin mayor; and 30-year-old Hosam Marisat, a friend of the Abu Salah brothers with prior security-related convictions.

The six relatives and friends would meet in the Sakhnin area and discuss radical Islam, which they all supported, but were they divided over whether to join ISIS or the al-Nusra Front rebel group in Syria. Ultimately, they decided in June to support ISIS.

The next stage in their development was connecting on Ala a-Din’s Facebook pageAla a-Din took command of the group, leading them as a self-styled general.

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The terror cell practiced the making of firebombs and other improvised weapons. They also bought sheep and slaughtered them for practice in order to prepare for human beheadings.

They also attempted to raise funds for their planned trip to Syria, where they would have joined ISIS.

‘Dangerous Escalation Among Israel Arabs’

Furthermore, the group had made online contact with ISIS members in Syria, including Israeli Arabs who had gone there to fight as part of the terror organization. Karim Abu Salah was arrested last week at Ben-Gurion Airport while boarding a flight with more than NIS 40,000 (some$10,000), which he was planning to hand over to ISIS. He was charged with plotting to murder Israeli security officials and Israeli Druze as well as seeking to obtain automatic weapons and trying to raise funds for weapons.

“The exposure of the cell and the prevention of a murderous attack points to a dangerous escalation among Israel’s Arabs, who are supportive of the world Jihad ideology and view ISIS as a means to implement their vision on the way to establishing an Islamic Caliphate,” the Shin Bet stated.

ISIS was outlawed by Israel in September when, in accordance with a Shin Bet recommendation, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon signed an official declaration designating ISIS as an unlawful organization. Israel’s security forces have since arrested several Arabs in connection with ISIS plots.

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By: Atara Beck, World Israel News