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.

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