Sources told The Times of Israel that a Muslim former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier has joined the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group.
The 25-year-old man, only known as H.B., lived in northern Israel before departing into Turkey to cross Syria’s border to join the vicious radical Islamic group. However, no one knows when or where he crossed the border.
A reporter from The Times of Israel received access to H.B.’s identification card, which said he completed training in January 2014. H.B. brought his dog tags to Syria, but authorities have yet to locate him inside the war-torn country.
The same Arab intelligence sources revealed “that between 100 and 150 Israeli Arabs are either serving in or detained by the Islamic State.” H.B. is the first IDF veteran involved.
In early November, ISIS released a 40-second video “threatening to go to war against Israel and Jews as a whole.” The masked man spoke in Hebrew but with an Arab accent.
“My message to the [Israel Defense Force] officers and soldiers and all the Jews – we will fight you with God’s help, we will come for you from across the world and we will slaughter you like sheep, prepare for the big war, the war of stone and wood. This is be soon and not long,” he said to the camera. “We will enter Al-Aqsa mosque as conquerors, using our cars as bombs to strike the Jewish ramparts.”
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police Northern District arrested five Israeli-Arabs, aged between 18 and 27, in northern Israel with alleged connections to ISIS. The Shin Bet said that, amid questioning, “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.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Israel is not too worried about ISIS. He assured the community the government is monitoring ISIS in Syria, the Sinai Peninsula, and a few in Gaza. However, the large group does not warrant Israel’s attention for a simple reason.
“Daesh hasn’t opened a front against us — because they would simply get hurt,” he stated, adding:
From Sinai there were a handful of attempted attacks. Lately that hasn’t happened. The Egyptians are battling them there with great determination. There is occasionally a rocket shot from Gaza by Daesh, but it’s actually aimed at [challenging] Hamas. In the West Bank there are a few cells. We took out an IS cell there a while ago. A few dozen Israeli Arabs went to fight with them [in Syria]. But overall, internally, including among Israeli Arabs and in the West Bank, this is under control.