Security forces arrested five Arab-Israeli youths from Nazareth on suspicion of training with weapons and holding secret meetings after coming under the influence of Islamic State ideology, the Shin Bet announced on Tuesday.
In a joint Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police Northern District announcement, security forces said arrests were made throughout October and November of men age 18, 18, 22, 23 and 27, all from the Suleiman clan in the northern city.
During questioning, “it emerged that, in the past year, the youths obtained firearms and trained with them, while becoming more devout during meetings they held. They expressed support for ISIS [Islamic State], and praised the jihad against infidels,” the Shin Bet said.
Security forces seized two firearms they described as SKS and Carl Gustav rifles, which were allegedly used to shoot in a forest near Nazareth.
Northern District prosecutors charged the men with severe security offenses at the Nazareth District Court, including illegal possession of weapons, supporting an illegal organization and taking part in illegal gatherings.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon declared Islamic State an illegal organization in September 2014.
Security forces have been on the lookout for any Islamic State-related activity in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
In late October, a 23-year-old Israeli- Arab man from Jaljulya paraglided into Syria from the Golan Heights in order to join an Islamist Syrian rebel group, IDF spokesman, Brig.-Gen.
Moti Almoz said on Sunday.
IDF lookouts spotted the paraglider hovering from northern Israel into Syria and alerted the military, which launched a large-scale search.
“We believe he planned this move to the other side and joined a group there,” Almoz told reporters during a conference call. “From the moment we spotted him, a large operational and intelligence search and investigation by the Northern Command, which was joined by the Shin Bet, began.”