Shin Bet: Arab-Israeli couple arrested for joining Islamic State in Iraq

Sakhnin couple arrested in September following long-winded return from Iraq with their three children, the Shin Bet announces Thursday.

October 20, 2016 11:07
1 minute read.
ISIS Israel

Arab-Israeli couple arrested on suspicion of joining ISIS in Iraq‏. (photo credit: SHIN BET)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Security forces have arrested an Arab-Israeli couple accused of joining the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Thursday.

The couple, Wisam and Sabrin Zabeidat from the northern city of Sakhnin, were arrested at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport on September 22 following their return from Iraq with their three children.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

According to a statement released by the Shin Bet, the couple had traveled to Turkey for a family event with their three children, aged eight, six and three. From there, they made contact with another Arab-Israeli who had joined ISIS in 2013 and then helped the Zabeidats cross the border into Syria.

The family was recruited by ISIS near the Syria-Turkey border and their Israeli passports were confiscated, according to the Shin Bet release.

At one point, Wisam Zabeidat was separated from his family and sent to Iraq for further training and ideological indoctrination.

According to the Shin Bet, investigations revealed that the couple had decided to try to return to Israel in June in light of the worsening situation in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

According to details of the investigation, the family had needed to pay thousands of dollars to border smugglers in attempt to return to Israel. The family had allegedly failed in multiple long-winded attempts to cross the border between Syria and Turkey.

After eventually entering Turkish territory however, the couple was arrested by Turkish police and placed in a detention camp. Days later, Turkish authorities released the family members who then traveled back to Israel, where they were again arrested.

The couple told investigators that ISIS media and video propaganda had led to their interest in the terrorist group.  On Thursday, the couple was indicted in Haifa for departing to an enemy country and joining the terrorist organization.

Related Content

A general view shows the town of Khorog, Tajikistan
August 16, 2018
Young couple trying to prove human kindness killed by ISIS