The Shin Bet’s investigation revealed that the suspects decided to carry out attacks in ISIS’ name.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
Israel’s combined security services have recently arrested six residents of the city of Nazareth on suspicion that they intend to carry out terrorist activities on behalf of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Israel, the Shin Bet announced Sunday.
The cell members all have Israeli citizenship – Muhammad Ihab Suleiman, 25, known to the security forces for his past activities related to ISIS, Aa Jafar Suleiman, 21, Muaman Nijam, 20, Ahmed Belal Suleiman, 18, Jihad Bakr, 20, and a minor whose details are prohibited from publication.
The Shin Bet’s investigation revealed that the suspects were inspired by ISIS content to which they were exposed online, which led to “a deep identification” on their part with the terrorist organization’s ideas.
At some point, they decided to carry out attacks in ISIS’ name. The suspects met in secret and planned to carry out attacks, including against a Muslim high school in Nazareth, which, according to the suspects, “operates in the way of the infidels.”
The suspects also planned attacks against a busy bus stop in a city in the north of the country, a police station in the vicinity of their residence, and at woods where Jews hang out. They worked to obtain weapons and tried to recruit others to promote their plans.
“This is a significant countermeasure that sheds light on the influence of the ISIS terrorist organization in Israel, which was inspired by, among other things, attacks by Israeli citizens in Be’er Sheva, Hadera and Jerusalem in March 2022,” the Shin Bet stated.
Two Islamist terrorists shot and killed two Israelis in the city of Hadera. In Be’er Sheva, a terrorist stabbed and murdered four Israelis. Both attacks were linked to ISIS.
ISIS “continues to work tirelessly to spread its ideology among the citizens of the State of Israel, and works to recruit them through propaganda distributed on the Internet, including social networks, with the aim of promoting terrorist activity in Israel,” the security agency added.
With the end of their investigations, the six were indicted on Sunday by the North District Attorney’s Office, charging them with the offenses of conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, preparations for a terrorist act, conspiracy to trade in weapons, and membership in a terrorist organization.
The Shin Bet and the Israel Police will “continue to act in accordance with their authority and will take all the measures at their disposal in order to deal decisively with phenomena related to extreme Islamic ideologies, and to thwart in advance any intentions to harm the security of the State of Israel on this basis,” they stated.