2 Israeli Jews converted to Islam, joined IS in Syria
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2 Israeli Jews converted to Islam, joined IS in Syria

Woman, man who enlisted in terror group were both born in former Soviet Union and raised in Israel, according to Shin Bet; Interior Ministry set to strip citizenship of 19 jihadists

In this undated image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, in Islamic State group-held territory, on Monday, June 30, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, fighters from the Islamic State group ride tanks during a parade in Raqqa, Syria.  (Raqqa Media Center via AP)
In this undated image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, in Islamic State group-held territory, on Monday, June 30, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, fighters from the Islamic State group ride tanks during a parade in Raqqa, Syria. (Raqqa Media Center via AP)

Two Israeli Jews have converted to Islam and joined the Islamic State in Syria, according to the Shin Bet security agency.

The two were named on a list of 20 Israeli citizens, one of whom is now deceased, who joined the ranks of the jihadist group, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Tuesday.

The two Israelis were born Jewish in the Soviet Union, immigrated to Israel at a young age, grew up in Israel, then converted to Islam as adults and traveled to Syria to join the ranks of IS. It was not immediately clear when the two left the country.

One, a 28-year-old woman, grew up in Ashdod. The other, Alex, a 32-year-old man, grew up in Lod.

Alex’s sister, who was not identified, told the TV station the family was in “shock” and is not in touch with him.

The list was drawn up for Interior Minister Aryeh Deri after a law went into effect this week allowing him to strip members of foreign terror organizations of their Israeli citizenship.

The list was made up mostly of Israeli Arabs, including two each from the towns of Fureidis, Kafr Kassem, Jaljoulya, Be’ena and East Jerusalem.

One person on the list died recently, while the list was being drawn up.

Deri is expected to formally strip them of their citizenship in the coming weeks.

The security service periodically releases information about individual Israelis who have left the country to join IS.

In March, a Belarusian-Israeli man was arrested as he attempted to join the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, after expressing support for the group over the past year and a half. The suspect, Valentin Vladmir Mazlevski, a 39-year-old father of five, moved to Israel from Belarus in 1996 at age 18 and converted to Islam four years later, while he was serving in the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet said.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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