In a disturbing sign of the Islamic State’s expanding influence, Israeli customs officials at Ben Gurion Airport have intercepted a suspicious package from Turkey that turned out to be packed with 120 shiny new ISIS rings, adorned with ISIS logos and slogans in Arabic, bound for Palestinian Authority customers.
“The rings made of silver were produced in Turkey and ordered by an importer in Ramallah,” reports Ynet News. “Customs officials announced that they will be destroyed sometime in the next few days.”
The package, like all items shipped to the West Bank, was subjected to stringent security procedures, including X-rays and visual inspection. Fortunately, a customs inspector fluent in Arabic read the writing on the rings and notified his supervisors, who alerted security forces and the Shin Bet intelligence service, as well as writing a letter to the Palestinian merchant who ordered the rings, giving him 30 days to appeal their confiscation and destruction.
“A large number of rings tells us that there are buyers for this,” said an Israeli tax official quoted by The Times of Israel, which cheekily referred to the contraband rings as “Islamist bling.”
“It is frightening and terrifying to know that in the territories of the Palestinian Authority, there are supporters of this murderous organization and, who knows, maybe with our help they will discover a cell or ideological organizing by ISIS,” the official continued.
I’m not sure “shocking” is quite the correct word for it at this point. Disgusting and horrifying, to be sure, but ISIS is expanding its influence across the globe, from the Middle East to American universities. If one were to prepare a list of fertile environments for the spread of ISIS ideology, the Palestinian Authority would not be at the bottom.