By Anna Ahronheim, JPOST—
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israeli Police arrested two Arab-Israelis brothers from the town of Umm el-Fahm on suspicion of involvement with the Islamic State last month, the Shin Bet made public on Friday.
The security forces raided the home of Mahmoud ‘Abd al-Karim Qassem Jabarin, 25-years-old, and Na’im ‘Abd al-Karim Qassem Jabarin, 20-years-old, and found ISIS paraphernalia and a Carl Gustav gun on the roof of their home.
Authorities also seized a large number of photographs that were in their possession, which “reinforced suspicions that the two supported the ideas and ideology of the organization of the Islamic state,” the Shin Bet statement said.
According to the Shin Bet, authorities had received intelligence that Mahmoud was in contact with an ISIS recruiter who was a former resident of Umm el-Fahm who has been in Syria since 2014 and Mahmoud had intended to leave Israel for Syria to join the jihadist group.
The investigation also revealed that the younger brother, Naim, swore allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Mahmoud was indicted on charges of collaboration with a foreign agent. Naim was charged for possession of illegal weapons.
The Shin Bet views Israelis who support the Islamic State organization as a serious security threat, especially those who are in contact with organization operatives and desire to fight in its ranks,” the Shin Bet statement read.
“As such, the Shin Bet will continue to monitor suspects and take the necessary enforcement measures to prevent the dissemination of ISIS ideology in Israel and prevent Israelis from fighting with the organization,” it added.
Israel has so far largely avoided an attack by the Islamic State group, though several Arab-Israelis have been arrested on suspicion of links with ISIS and plans to carry out attacks inspired by the Sunni extremist group.
Israeli security officials have said two Palestinians who shot dead four Israelis at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market last June and the Arab-Israeli who killed three people in a January 1, 2016 shooting spree in Tel Aviv, had all been inspired by the jihadist group.
In March, 25-year-old Nazareth resident Fadil Tzaber Kna’anah was arrested on charges of supporting terrorist operatives. Kna’anah is suspected of being in contact with two other Israel-Arabs who were fighting with ISIS and having transferred nis 5000 to them.
Several Arab-Israelis have been jailed for seeking to join ISIS in Syria, including six residents of the Arab-Israeli town of Jaljulia. Those residents were arrested in November 2016 for planning to travel to Syria to join the militant group. Another Arab-Israeli managed to glide across the Israeli-Syrian border on the Golan Heights using a hang-glider.
A few months earlier, six residents – including three teachers – from the southern Bedouin town of Hura were arrested for supporting the militant group. The three teachers were accused of promoting the jihadist ideology in their classes and “taking advantage of their status to win over people for the sake of , among students and teachers, and within the school walls,” the Shin Bet said at the time.
According to the Shin Bet, some 50 Israeli citizens have traveled to Syria or neighboring Iraq to fight with rebel groups including the Islamic State. Several are reported to have been killed and less than a 10 are estimated to have returned to Israel, either by their own accord or after caught by Turkish authorities while trying to cross the border and deported back to Israel.