update deskIsrael at War

Israeli forces nab Islamic State cell near Hebron

During the raid, Israeli forces discovered some 100 explosive devices.

Israeli security personnel secure Hebron in Judea, Jan. 23, 2024. Photo by Wisam Haslamoun/Flash90.
Israeli security personnel secure Hebron in Judea, Jan. 23, 2024. Photo by Wisam Haslamoun/Flash90.

Israeli security personnel last month arrested four Palestinians planning Islamic State-inspired terrorist attacks against troops in Judea and Samaria, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police cleared for publication on Monday afternoon.

The four suspects, named by the Shin Bet as Murad Marqatan, Hasin Marqatan, Muhammad Marqatan and Ahmed Marqatan, were taken into custody in a joint operation of the three organizations in the village of Tarqumiyah near Hebron in Judea.

During the raid, Israeli forces discovered some 100 explosive devices. The four terrorists are alleged to have manufactured the bombs using online instructions and guidance that the head of the cell, Murad Marqatan, received from Islamic State operatives abroad.

The terrorist squad was also in possession of M16 assault rifles and makeshift Carlo-style submachine guns, the Shin Bet said on Monday.

The four men have been charged with “serious security offenses” at the IDF military court in Judea, added the agency.

In the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre in southwestern Israel, security forces found an ISIS flag on the body of one of the terrorists they killed in Kibbutz Sufa.

On Dec. 28, security forces thwarted a terrorist attack that was to be carried out near the Knesset in Jerusalem. Mustafa Abdel Nabi and Ahmad Natsha—two Arab residents of the capital who identified with ISIS—intended to blow up a truck full of gas tanks near the parliament building.

In January, it was cleared for publication that Israel arrested two ISIS terrorists in the southeastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. The suspects, both in their 20s, planned to plant improvised explosive devices aimed at security forces and to commit other acts of terrorism.

The previous week, ISIS spokesman Abu Huthaifa al-Ansari called on the group’s supporters around the world to attack Jews and avenge the killing by the IDF of Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

In a 30-minute recording titled “And kill them wherever you find them,” al-Ansari instructed terrorist cells to attack Israeli and Jewish targets across the United States and Europe, including synagogues, Jewish gatherings and Israeli diplomatic missions.

“Barge into their homes and kill them using different methods, including gunfire, bombs, grenades and knives,” said al-Ansari, according to a translation of the speech, stressing: “Don’t differentiate between a civilian or a soldier, as they both should be targeted.”

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