5 Arab-Israelis indicted for plotting terror attacks

Charges of Daburiyya residents include conspiracy to carry out attacks on Jews, explosives manufacturing, and computer hacking.

September 15, 2011 12:51
3 minute read.
The five Arab-Israeli residents of Daburiyya

Daburiyya Terror cell 311. (photo credit: Courtesy of Israel Police)


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Five residents of Daburiya, east of Nazareth, were arrested this month on suspicion of plotting to carrying out terrorist attacks on several targets, police announced on Thursday, following the lifting of a media ban.

The arrests were carried out by the northern police district’s central unit in coordination with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). Some of the suspects studied at the University of Haifa University or at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology.

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“They planned to attack an IDF soldier and a border policeman who lived in the village and steal their weapons. They selected ‘candidates’ from which they planned to steal weapons and carry out future attacks,” police said.

The suspects are affiliated with the Salafiya Jihadiya group, police added.

One of the suspects considered working at a government office or a strategic factory for the purpose of planning an attack, a police spokesman said.

Cmdr. Ronni Atiya, head of the police’s Northern District, said the suspects formed a “dangerous cell that conspired to attack security personnel and civilians.”

Police said one suspect, Aslam Atrash, set up an Internet forum in which he published articles supporting Salafiya Jihadiya and its extremist stances.”


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 police said heads the Ansar Allah organization in the area, a group that was banned by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The suspects also confessed to viewing online videos instructing them on firearms training and how to assemble explosives. 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.

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 Upper Nazareth, was murdered by a terrorist cell affiliated with the Salafiya Jihadiya network.

The Northern District Attorney’s Office issued indictments for five residents of Daburiya who were arrested last week for involvement in plotting terrorist attacks.

These included indictments against Ibrahim and Ismail Actilat, charging them with a conspiracy to carry out attacks against Jews.

Ibrahim was also charged with attempting to manufacture explosives.

In addition, the Northern District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday it had filed last week indictments against three men, Islam Atrash, Mehdi Saleh and Shadi Ibrahim, also from Daburiya, for offenses including conspiracy, attempting to provide the means to commit a crime, and illegal entry into computer systems.

The district attorney has also filed requests to detain all five suspects for the duration of legal proceedings.

A remand hearing scheduled for Thursday for the suspects at the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court was pushed back until Monday.

Their lawyer, Rafi Masalaha, said the affair was based on little more than phone records.

“This started with accusations of setting up a terror cell and resulted in a minor indictment,” Masalaha said.

Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.

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