A rebel fighter takes away a flag that belonged to Islamic State militants in Akhtarin village, after rebel fighters advanced in the area, in northern Aleppo Governorate, Syria, October 7, 2016.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) along with the police announced on Wednesday the recent arrest of an Arab citizen on charges of supporting and making preparations to join Islamic State in Syria.
The suspect, 16, from Jaljulya, southeast of Kfar Saba, was made in light of intelligence information on his intention to leave for Syria, the agency said.
The suspect had recently become more radicalized, after which he began his support for the terrorist group and began to make contact with ISIS members, according to details of the Shin Bet investigation released on Wednesday.
In recent months, the suspect obtained weapons including an Uzi submachine gun and a Glock handgun, investigators said.
Footage the suspect filmed of himself using the weapons to fire in the air was instrumental in leading to his arrest, according to the Shin Bet.
Around 50 Israeli citizens have traveled to Syria or Iraq to fight with rebel groups including Islamic State, the agency said.
Several are reported to have been killed and fewer than 10 are estimated to have returned to Israel, either on their own accord or after being caught by Turkish authorities while trying to cross the border to Syria or Iraq and deported back to Israel.
In September, the Shin Bet arrested a family of Israeli Arabs at Ben-Gurion Airport arriving from Iraq. According to the Shin Bet, the family members had traveled to Turkey where they made contact with an Arab Israeli who had joined the jihadist group in 2013, and who helped the family cross into Syria. The family decided to return to Israel after the father was wounded during a raid on an Iraqi military post.
“The phenomenon of Israelis going to Syria and Iraq is serious and dangerous. ISIS works to spread false propaganda to present a false image of itself as enabling a good life under Islam, or of religious and military adventure. In contrast, the questioning of Israelis returning from Syria and Iraq presents an opposite picture,” the Shin Bet said.
Several Arab Israelis have been arrested on suspicion of links with ISIS and plans to carry out attacks inspired by the Sunni extremist group.
Two Palestinians who shot dead four Israelis at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market on June 8 and the Israeli Arab who killed three people in a January 1 shooting spree in Tel Aviv, were inspired by the jihadist group, Israeli security officials said.
On September 8, the Haifa District Court sentenced five Israeli Arabs to terms ranging from 30 months to six years for seeking to join ISIS in Syria.
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