A group of Bedouin were in the process of establishing an ISIS network in southern Israel and influencing students when they were stopped by security forces. 

isis bedouin

The six suspects. (Shin Bet)

Four Bedouin teachers working in the Israeli school system in southern Israel were arrested by police and security forces for supporting and distributing Islamic State (ISIS) ideology among their students and other educators in the town of Hura, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) announced on Monday.

Two other Bedouin were arrested as well in connection with the terror-promoting initiative. The group conducted secret meetings in which they learned and discussed ISIS’s radical Islamist ideology, while some actively worked to recruit friends and family members and encouraged them to travel to join the terrorist organization in Syria.

The school principal and other teachers were questioned as well, and the principal is suspected of having been aware of the situation and doing nothing about it.

The Shin Bet described how the educators would exploit their position to disperse terrorist propaganda. One teacher took any opportunity he had to preach ISIS ideology. For instance, he displayed maps of the so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, played ISIS songs in class and displayed ISIS clips, which he erased after being warned that such activity could compromise his teaching position.

In addition, some among the group planned to join the ISIS terror organization in Syria. There have been several previous cases of Arabs from Israel who have joined ISIS in Syria.

The six suspects were indicted in the Beersheba District Court and charged with supporting a terrorist organization, distributing an illegal organization’s materials, conspiracy to commit a crime, attempting to illegally exit the country and other criminal offenses.

The suspects include Bashir Jabrin Salim abu Alkian, 26, an elementary school teacher in Hura; Akram Alab Ahmed abu Alkian, 30, an elementary school teacher in Rahat; Muhammad Alab Ahmed abu Alkian, 27, a high-school teacher in Hura; Khader Hassan abu Alkian, 27, from Hura; Sharif Shahada Rezek abu Alkian, 23, from Atir; and Hamza Abed Ali Alkiyan, 27, a teacher from Hura.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon officially declared ISIS an illegal organization last September.

‘Educational Terror’

Ecconomics Minister Naftali Bennett

Minister Naftali Bennett. (Flash90)

Following the arrests, Minister of Education Naftali Bennett ordered that the teachers’ licenses be revoked and called for a “zero tolerance policy” against the phenomenon.

“Over the last few months, Beduin teachers in Hura have been advancing the ideology of Islamic State among their pupils,” he said.

“Teachers will not be terrorists in Israel,” he declared, calling their actions “educational terror.”

The ministry congratulated the Shin Bet and the police for their “important actions that brought an immediate halt to the hostile action within the Israeli education system.”

The ministry will continue to cooperate with the security forces to maintain the safety of Israeli pupils and, the ministry stated.

Additionally, in the coming days, the ministry will work in the schools where the educators were arrested to restore confidence and stability to the educators and students.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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