Protest in Umm al-fahm on Saturday, November 28, against banning of the northen branch of the Islamic Movement.
(photo credit: JOINT LIST)
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), in collaboration with the National Unit of Serious and International Crime Investigations, detained and interrogated six operatives of the Islamic Movement in Israel at the end of March and beginning of April, it was announced on Thursday, after the information was cleared for publication.
One suspect, Suleiman Agbaria, is allegedly a senior member of the movement and served as its director. The others are Suleiman Ahmad Mustafa Agbaria, Mustafa Ali Diab Egbarieh, Muhammad Harbi Abed Zabta Mahajna, Fuaz Hassan Yusuf Agbaria, Mahmoud Ahmad Mahmoud Jabarin – all from the northern Arab city of Umm el-Fahm.
Musa Muhammad Hamdan Salameh, a resident of Jebl Mukaber in east Jerusalem, was also detained.
An additional 20 people were interrogated in the course of the investigation, including the founder of the movement, Omar Muhammad Ahmed Gripat, a resident of Beit Zarzir in the Western Galilee.
In November 2015, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman ruled that the northern branch of the Islamic Movement was an unlawful association.
Warrants were then issued to help crack down on organizations and entities that operated on behalf of the movement in Israel.
The Islamic Movement has been defined as a terrorist organization by Israel since November of 2016.
The investigation found that the suspects operated to continue activities of the outlawed group, emphasizing operations in Jerusalem and working through an NGO that hid its ties to the movement, according to the Shin Bet.
Under the guidance of Suleiman Agbaria, the detainees coordinated and brokered foreign funds connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in order to pay for those activities.
The funds were said to have served as a significant, central financial conduit for the Islamic Movement, even before it was declared an illegal organization. Once outlawed, the suspects continued to transfer large sums of money for their activities.
Two of the men were caught trying to move more than $20,000 in cash, the Shin Bet stated.
The suspects allegedly pocketed significant sums of illegal funds intended for the group’s activities. Instead, the money was found in bank accounts of operatives who used it for their personal benefit.
The Economic Department of the State Attorney’s Office filed indictments against the suspects and two companies identified with the movement, for crimes undermining state security, such as membership in a terrorist organization, money laundering and more.
“The activity of the Islamic Movement endangers the security of the states and any activity related to the movement, including being a member of the group, is prohibited by law,” the Shin Bet stated, adding, “Law enforcement agencies will continue to take the necessary enforcement measures to prevent any activity by the movement and its members.”
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.