5 Arab-Israelis arrest on suspicion of plotting terror

'Dangerous terror cell' from Daburriya disrupted while allegedly planning multiple attacks; arrest carried out in coordination with police, Shin Bet.

Daburiyya Terror cell 311 (photo credit: Courtesy of Israel Police)
Daburiyya Terror cell 311
(photo credit: Courtesy of Israel Police)
Security forces arrested five Arab-Israeli residents of Daburiyya in the North this month on suspicion of plotting to carry out terrorist attacks on multiple targets, police announced on Thursday.
The arrests were carried out by the northern police district's central unit in coordination with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
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"They planned to attack and IDF soldier and a Border policeman who lived in the village, and selected 'candidates' from which they planned to steal weapons and carry out future attacks," police said.
The suspects are affiliated with the Salifia Jihadiya jihadi group, police added.
One of the suspects considered taking up a position in a government office or a strategic factory for the purpose of planning an attack, a police spokesman said.
Cmdr. Ronni Atiya, head of the northen district, said the suspects formed a "dangerous cell that conspired to attack security personnel and civilians."
"One suspect, Aslam Atrash, set up an internet forum in which he published articles supporting Salafiya Jihadiya and its extremist stances," police added.
Salafiya Jihadiya members urge followers to launch armed attacks on Israel, the West, and Arab-Muslim countries deemed as being insufficiently religious.
Atrash is also suspected of being in contact with Sheikh Nathm Sakafa of Nazareth, who heads the Ansar Allah organization in the area, a group that was banned by Defense Minsiter Ehud Barak.
The suspects also confessed to viewing online videos instructing them on how to assemble explosives, and firearms training.
Sketches of electric circuits used for assembling bombs were downloaded by one of the suspects as preparations for "future attacks," police added.
In the short term, the suspects planned to attack a local police station, attack security personnel and steal their firearms.
The five have been charged at the Nazareth Magistrate's Court with a range of offenses, centering on plotting to commit a crime, plotting to set up an illegal association, and plotting to carry out violent and armed offenses.
Security forces said the cell posed a clear security threat due to its extreme ideology, which was fed by "content downloaded from the internet, and the readiness of Israeli civilians to act violently within Israel and against its institutions."
In 2009, Yafim Weinstein, of Nazareth Illit, was murdered by a terrorist cell affiliated with the Salafiya Jihadiya network.