Two Israeli-Arabs arrested for supporting the Islamic State group

The terror group has been outlawed in Israel since 2014.

August 22, 2019 17:03
2 minute read.
The two Israeli-Arab residents of the city of Tamra who had been arrested and charged with supportin

The two Israeli-Arab residents of the city of Tamra who had been arrested and charged with supporting and assisting the Islamic State group.. (photo credit: SHIN BET)

Two Israeli-Arab residents of the city of Tamra have been arrested and charged with supporting and assisting the Islamic State group, Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency announced on Wednesday.

The two, identified as 22-year-old Amin Yassin, a medical student in Slovakia, and 28-year-old Ali Armush, who had previously been arrested and questioned on suspicion of committing security offenses in connection with ISIS, were arrested in July in a joint operation by the Shin Bet and Israel Police.

The indictment filed on Wednesday accuses the two of contact with a foreign agent, terrorist training and conspiracy to commit murder.

The Shin Bet investigation found that the two support ISIS - “and even see themselves as envoys, until the establishment of an Islamic State in Israel” - and spread the group’s ideology as part of their attempt to promote the terrorist group's goals.

Armush is said to have made contact three years ago with a Syrian national named Riah who suggested that he travel to the war-torn country via Turkey to join the group. While he never made it to Turkey, he is said to have used over 1,000 fake Twitter accounts to disseminate Islamic State content.

During the investigation, the Shin Bet and the Israeli police also discovered that the two had downloaded dozens of files containing “substantial contents” of ISIS, including training as well as methods for preparing explosives including car bombs, sniper shooting, preparing positions with the intention to carry out terrorist attacks “at a suitable time for the benefit of Jihad,” the statement said.

According to the indictment, the two also discussed killing one of Yassin’s cousins who served in the US military when he would next visit the family in Israel. His time in the US military “made him an infidel and as such his punishment should be death.”

“The Shin Bet will continue to work with the police to expose suspects operating for the Islamic State terrorist organization, and will take the necessary enforcement measures to prevent any activity that is detrimental to state security, including the dissemination of the Islamic State terrorist-organization material in Israel,” the agency said.

While Israel has largely avoided an attack by the Islamic State group, numerous Arab Israelis have been arrested on suspicion of links with ISIS and plans to carry out attacks inspired by the Sunni extremist group.

Israel declared several Syrian jihadist groups, including Islamic State and Jabat al-Nusra, illegal organizations in late 2014.

Dozens of Israeli-Arabs have also been arrested upon their return to Israel after joining the terror groups in Syria, out of concern that their battlefield experience will allow them to establish terrorist networks or commit terror attacks within Israel.

Several Israeli-Arabs are believed to have been killed while fighting in Syria.

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