Authorities uncover cell of Israeli Arabs planning to join Islamic State

A Shin Bet document with pictures of the indicted Israeli Arabs who were planning to join Islamic State. Credit: Shin Bet.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to A group of six Israeli Arabs from the central town of Jaljulia were indicted Wednesday for planning to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State terror group.

The cell was uncovered in a joint effort by the Shin Bet security agency and the Israel Police. The investigation that led to the arrests and indictments began in October after Nadal Salah, a 23-year-old Israel Arab man from Jaljulia, flew a paraglider into Syria to join Islamic State. The initial probe into that incident led to the arrest of two brothers from Jaljulia suspected of helping Salah enter Syria—26-year-old Jihad Hagala and 22-year-old Ahab Hagala.

The Hagala brothers were known Islamic State supporters. Jihad Hagala even spent half a year in Syria in 2013 fighting for Islamic State. Upon his return to Israel, Hagala was sentenced to prison and was released in November 2014.

During questioning, the Hagala brothers admitted to helping Salah enter Syria. The investigation also turned up the names of four other Jaljulia residents who had taken part in the planning: Anas Hagala, 19, Mahmad Udah, 28, Mahmad Zakgait, 22, and Adnan Inash, 21.

All six suspects were charged at the Lod District Court on Wednesday for contacting an enemy agent, conspiring to commit a crime, attempting to travel to an enemy state, and assisting travel to an enemy state.

Posted on November 19, 2015 .