Israeli security forces arrested another Israeli Arab who planned to carry out an attack in ISIS’ name.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
Israeli forces arrested an Arab with Israeli citizenship who planned to carry out a terror attack inspired by the Islamic State (ISIS), the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) stated Sunday.
The Shin Bet arrested Hassan Khaled Taher Sheikh Yousef, 27, from the Arab city of Taibeh in central Israel, earlier this month on suspicion that he supported ISIS and intended to carry out an attack inspired by the terror group.
The investigation revealed that during 2014-2015, Yousef became a more observant and religious Muslim and came closer to the ISIS ideology, a period during which he viewed ISIS-related Internet content and considered joining the organization in Syria.
The investigation also showed that Yousef had viewed training clips on preparing explosives and tried to convince another individual to purchase an M16 assault rifle.
During the summer of 2017, during the Temple Mount riots, Yousef tried to persuade others to join him in carrying out various attacks, including a shooting attack in Jerusalem, a car bomb attack in front of the Taibeh police station and a stabbing attack.
All those whom he approached turned down his proposals. In the end, Yousef was afraid to act independently.
Yousef’s interrogation was accompanied by the Central District Prosecutor’s Office, which on Sunday filed an indictment against him.
The Shin Bet pointed out that the refusal of others to partake in Yousef’s plans had significant role in thwarting them.
“The Shin Bet views Israelis who support the Islamic State as a serious security threat. Therefore, it will continue its close monitoring of suspects and will take the necessary enforcement measures to prevent the spreading of the organization’s ideology in Israel, as well as the departure of Israelis to fight in the organization’s ranks,” the Shin Bet said.
In September, the Shin Bet arrested three Israeli-Arabs who were charged with supporting ISIS. Two of them had planned to carry out a shooting attack on the Temple Mount, similar to the deadly attack perpetrated in July.
Israeli security forces have exposed several ISIS terror cells, comprised mostly of Arabs holding Israeli citizenship, operating in the Jewish state. Tens of suspects were arrested.
Israel fears that citizens returning home after fighting alongside ISIS in Syria will use their experience to establish terror networks and launch attacks within the country. Another threat is the possibility of ISIS influencing Israeli Arabs, especially via social media, to attack the Jewish state and its citizens.
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