Shin Bet arrests ISIS sympathizer who plotted attacks in Israel

The suspect’s arrest comes a week after two Bedouin females plotting ISIS-inspired attacks were arrested.

By: Margot Dudkevitch, World Israel News

An Israeli Arab citizen named Hassan Khaled Taher Sheikh Yusef, a supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS), was arrested for plotting attacks in Israel on the terror group’s behalf. He was apprehended by the Shin Bet, the Israel Security Agency revealed Sunday.

Yusef, 26, who was arrested earlier this month, became more religious between the years 2014-2015. He previously expressed a desire to join the Islamic State and began examining how to travel to Syria to fight with them, the security agency said.

Yusef watched videos on how to prepare explosives and also sought to purchase an M16 rifle. In 2017, around the same time protests took place on the Temple Mount in response to the placing of metal detectors by police to monitor Muslim worshipers entering the holy site, he tried to persuade others to join him and perpetrate shooting and stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and place a car bomb outside the police station in Taibe.

All attempts to recruit others failed and because Yusef was scared to execute the attacks on his own, they were never carried out, the Shin Bet said.

“The investigation shows that the fact that people in his immediate surroundings disassociated themselves from his actions played an important role in disrupting his plans,” a statement released by the security agency said. The Shin Bet said it will continue to closely monitor suspects and take necessary steps to prevent the dissemination of the organization’s doctrine in Israel as well as attempts by Israeli citizens to leave the country in order to join ISIS abroad.

Yusef’s arrest comes just a week after the security agency announced it had arrested two Bedouin females who planned both to carry out a deadly attack in Israel during New Year celebrations and to join an ISIS affiliate in the Sinai.