TEL AVIV – Two Arab-Israelis have been arrested and charged with terrorist training and conspiracy to commit murder on behalf of the Islamic State terror group, Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said on Wednesday.
The two, identified as 22-year-old medical student Amin Yassin and 28-year-old Ali al-Aroush, both from the Arab-Israeli city of Tamra, had previously been arrested on suspicion of committing IS-related security offenses.
They were re-arrested in July in a joint operation by the Shin Bet and Israel Police.
The indictment, filed Wednesday, found that the two “see themselves as envoys, until the establishment of an Islamic State in Israel,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
The pair were found to have downloaded “substantial” material connected with the terror group, including instructions on weaponry and how to carry out terrorist attacks “at a suitable time for the benefit of Jihad,” the statement said.
“The Shin Bet will continue to work with the police to expose suspects operating for the Islamic State terrorist organization,” the agency stated, “and will take the necessary enforcement measures to prevent any activity that is detrimental to state security, including the dissemination of the Islamic State terrorist-organization material in Israel.”
While Israel does not have an Islamic State presence within its borders, there have been several arrests of Arab Israelis suspected of links to the terror group. There have also been several dozen Arab Israelis who have crossed the border into neighboring Syria with plans to join the group.
Earlier this month, an Arab-Israeli who joined the Islamic State in Syria but was captured by Assad forces begged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow him to return to Israel, saying he promised to be “a better, more serious human being.”
Captured Israeli Arab ISIS Fighter Sayyaf Sharif Daoud Asks Netanyahu to Let Him Return to Israel, Says ISIS Is Stronger than It Was pic.twitter.com/sIshC69KJu
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) August 1, 2019
Sayyaf Sharif Daoud also said that Israel was a democratic country and, unlike the Assad regime, did not rape and kill its own citizens.