update deskIsrael at War

Israelis arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport planned to join ISIS in Syria

Abdel Mahdi Gabarin and Naim Gabarin were caught last month as they tried to board a flight to Turkey.

El Al airplanes parked at Ben-Gurion Airport in Lod, Aug. 3, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
El Al airplanes parked at Ben-Gurion Airport in Lod, Aug. 3, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

Two Israeli citizens from the northern Arab town of Ar’ara were indicted on Monday on charges of attempting to join the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria, the State Attorney’s Office announced.

Abdel Mahdi Gabarin and Naim Gabarin were arrested last month at Ben-Gurion Airport as they tried to board a flight to Turkey, from where they had planned to cross into Syria, according to the charges.

Prosecutors said the suspects met following prayers at a mosque in the city of Umm al-Fahm, near Ar’ara, where Abdel Mahdi served as an imam.

The two men were said to have consumed online propaganda that glorified ISIS’s actions, including beheading videos put out by the terrorist group, and are suspected to have prepared for the fighting in Syria through combat training and shooting drills at firing ranges in Israel.

On June 17, the Israel Police revealed that security forces had arrested a resident of the Muslim village of ‘Ara, northeast of Hadera, on suspicion of preparing to join ISIS in Somalia. He was said to have made extensive preparations, including by writing a will, collecting funds, applying for a foreign passport and maintaining contact with “hostile elements.”

Earlier this year, ISIS spokesman Abu Huthaifa al-Ansari called on the group’s supporters around the world to attack Jews and avenge the killing by the Israel Defense Forces of Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The Arab terrorist who murdered a 14-year-old Israeli shepherd in Samaria in April was inspired by ISIS, having become interested in jihad and the Islamic State around a year before he carried out the killing.

In addition, since Hamas launched its latest war against the Jewish state on Oct. 7, Israeli authorities have foiled several ISIS-linked terror plots.

In April, four Arabs from eastern Jerusalem who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State, two of whom planned to attack a police station near the capital’s Teddy sports stadium, were indicted in an Israeli court.

The previous month, security personnel arrested four Palestinians planning ISIS-inspired attacks against troops in Judea and Samaria.

On Jan. 22, Israeli security forces foiled an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack that was to be carried out near the country’s parliament in Jerusalem.

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