Israeli police have arrested six Arab Bedouin residents of Hura, Israel on charges that they had formed a terror cell and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terror group.
Israel’s Shin Bet, which serves as the country’s domestic security agency (comparable to America’s FBI), said the men had been holding secret meetings in which recruits were indoctrinated with ISIS’s radical ideology.
“The investigation uncovered that the suspects met secretly to discuss and promote Islamic State’s ideology,” read a statement from the Shin Bet.
The group was working to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq, and had encouraged friends and family members to join the Middle East holy war, Israeli officials alleged.
Four of the men arrested were teachers at a local school in the Negev desert, officials alleged, claiming that the school teachers used their positions of authority to indoctrinate children into supporting the jihadi group.
“Some took advantage of their position and attempted to plead the case for ISIS among pupils and teachers on school premises,” the Shin Bet statement added.
The principal of the school denies any knowledge of any wrongdoing at his school, Israel National News reported.
The six men, all of whom admitted to being part of the cell, range in age from 23-30. They were indicted in an Israeli court on a plethora of terrorism charges.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett commented on the arrests:
Over the last few months, Bedouin teachers in Hura have been advancing the ideology of Islamic State among their pupils. Teachers will not be terrorists in Israel. I asked them to be fired for educating for terror. We will have zero tolerance for those who advance terror.
Bennett has called on the Education Ministry to revoke the teaching licenses of the alleged terrorists.
In a statement, the education ministry applauded Israeli police for their “important actions that brought to the immediate halt of the hostile action within the Israeli education system.”