With the spread of global terrorism and ISIS on the march, Israel is clamping down on domestic Islamic terrorism threats.
Israeli security forces arrested five Arabs with Israeli citizenship from Nazareth on suspicion of planning terror attacks on behalf of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) revealed Tuesday.
The suspected terrorists, aged 19, 20, 22, 23, and 27, were exposed as members of the “Salafia Jihadiya” organization, which adheres to the ISIS ideology.
The cell acquired weapons, a Carl Gustav machine pistol and a Russian SKS rifle, and trained with them in preparation for pending terror attacks against Israeli targets.
The group also met on occasions and declared their support for ISIS’ ideology, praising Jihad [holy war] against the “infidels,” the Shin Bet said.
The cell members, who came from the Suleiman clan in the northern part of Nazareth, were charged with illegal possession of weapons, conspiring to commit crimes, supporting an illegal organization and illegal firing of weapons in a built area.
ISIS was officially declared an illegal organizations in Israel in late October.
Israeli security forces have over the past year exposed several ISIS terror cells operating in Israel, comprised mostly of Arabs with Israeli citizenship. In total, 39 suspects have been arrested.
The last big cell was exposed in November. The six member cell planned to join ISIS in Syria, while a seventh member was successful in paragliding from Israel into Syria and joined ISIS.
Israel estimates that some 50 Israeli Arabs have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq over the past two years. Ten of them have been arrested upon their return to the country and a few other have been killed in action while fighting with ISIS.
Israel fears that Arabs returning to Israel from fighting with ISIS will use their experience to establish terror networks and launch attacks within Israel, or that Arabs in Israel will be inspired by ISIS, and especially via social media, and will operate against the Jewish state and its citizens.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
JNS contributed to this report.
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