JERUSALEM – Two Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem were charged on Monday with planning an attack on security forces in the city under the banner of the Islamic State.
The Jerusalem Post reports on the charges:
The Jerusalem State Attorney’s Office filed the indictment against Mu’asab Alian, 23, and Samir Abd Rabo, 38, who face charges including, conspiracy to aid an enemy in time of war, membership in a terrorist organization and contact with a foreign agent.
According to the indictment, Alian began supporting ISIS in 2014. He learned about the group’s ideology further during his religious studies throughout 2015 and 2016.
He decided to join ISIS in Syria and made two unsuccessful attempts to travel there, once through Jordan, and once through Turkey.
Rabo also studied ISIS through the Internet during this period, the indictment says.
At the end of 2015 the two suspects joined with a third unnamed person to allegedly plan the making of an explosive device to target security forces in Jerusalem in the name of ISIS.
According to the indictment, the suspects took steps to carry out the attack, including allegedly purchasing a cellphone in October 2015 for use as a remote control to detonate the bomb.
The indictment represents the latest sign of the growing support for IS within the Israeli Arab and Palestinian community.
There have been reports that Nashat Melhem, the assailant behind a deadly Tel Aviv pub shooting in January, was inspired by IS.
Melhem’s attack followed a call-to-arms broadcast days earlier by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-declared Islamic State, who threatened in a rare audio recording to turn Israel into a “graveyard.”
The same night as Melhem’s attack, Salafists in the Gaza Strip allied with IS ideology claimed responsibility for firing 5 rockets form Gaza into southern Israel.
Israeli and Palestinian security services have clamped down on cells of Salafists in recent months who reportedly joined the Islamic State. Some of those extremists were Israeli Arabs from northern Israel.
Israel’s Shin Bet security agency in December announced the arrest of Israeli Arab youths from Nazareth for declaring allegiance to the Islamic State. The Shin Bet said that during interrogations “it emerged that, in the past year, the youths obtained firearms and trained with them, while becoming more devout during meetings they held. They expressed support for ISIS [Islamic State], and praised the jihad against infidels.”
Also in December, two cousins accused of being Islamic State operatives were arrested in the Nazareth area on suspicion of plotting attacks in northern Israel.
In a radio interview with this reporter broadcast on Sunday, Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari, a leading Islamic State-allied militant in the Gaza Strip, claimed it is only a matter of time before the Islamic State’s branch in the Egyptian Sinai carries out a “big operation” in the Israeli resort town of Eilat and other parts of southern Israel.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.