Two brothers from the Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm were indicted Friday on suspicion of supporting the Islamic State terror group, the Shin Bet security service said.
The two men were arrested in July, but details of the case were kept under a gag order, which was removed Friday when they were formally charged.
One of the two is suspected of planning to travel to Syria to join the organization. A gun was found in the possession of the other brother, the agency said, though there was no indication they planned an imminent terror attack.
The two were identified as Mahmoud Abd al-Karim Qassem Jabarin and Na’im Abd al-Karim Qassem Jabarin.
Evidence tied to the brothers, “specifically a large number of photographs that were found in their possession, strengthened the suspicion that the two supported the views and ideology of the Islamic State organization,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
The agency said it had information indicating that Mahmoud, 25, planned to travel to Syria in order to join the terrorist organization’s fighting forces there.
In order to do so, Mahmoud contacted another Umm al-Fahm resident who had previously traveled to Syria and joined the Islamic State in 2014. The former IS fighter allegedly agreed to help Mahmoud make his way to the war-torn country.
Na’im, 20, is believed to have “sworn fealty to the head of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and considered himself an operative of the Islamic State organization,” the statement said.
The Shin Bet believes Na’im owned the Carlo-style automatic submachine gun that was found on the roof of the brothers’ home.
On Friday, the Haifa District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment charging the older brother of contacting a foreign enemy agent, and the younger brother of illegal possession of weapons.
The Shin Bet said that despite Islamic State’s losses on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq, the group is actively trying to recruit new members, mostly through the internet.
Some 50 Arab citizens of Israel have traveled to Syria or Iraq to join the group in recent years, the agency estimates.
“The Shin Bet views Israelis who support the Islamic State, and certainly those who maintain contacts with the organization’s activists and who go out to fight in its ranks, as a serious security threat,” it said in Friday’s statement.
“Therefore, the Shin Bet will continue to monitor the suspects and take the necessary measures to prevent the dissemination of the ideology of the Islamic State in Israel, as well as the departure of Israelis to fight in the ranks of the organization.”
Three relatives from Umm al-Fahm shot dead two police officers outside the Temple Mount compound, using weapons they had smuggled into the holy site, in an attack that set off two weeks of high tensions surrounding the contest Jerusalem holy place.