Fake US bills featuring face of IS boss found in Galilee
Notes are apparently identical to those dispersed by Syrian regime; Israel Police launch probe, send currency for lab analysis
Lee Gancman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.
Fake American $100 bills featuring an image of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have been found scattered around several locations in the Galilee, Israel Police spokesperson Luba Samri said Monday.
The fake currency features al-Baghdadi in place of founding father Benjamin Franklin, and the reverse side shows an image of a dead jihadi fighter impaled by Independence Hall in Philadelphia, alongside the Arabic message: “This is the end of dirty money. Return to your God, the best sinners are the ones who repent.”
All the bills were found in locations with predominantly Jewish populations, including Sde Eliezer, Yesod HaMa’ala, Kibbutz Hulata, and around Hula Lake.
“An investigation has been opened and the bills will be sent for laboratory analysis,” said Samri.
It appears that the bills are identical to those dropped by the Assad regime in recent days over the city of Douma, a Syrian rebel stronghold. It is unclear who printed the money in Israel, and for whom it was intended.
In May, Israeli customs officers intercepted a number of rings stamped with IS logos and iconography in what was reportedly a Turkish shipment bound for the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Ramallah.
Paraphernalia bearing IS imagery is considered “banned propaganda” by the Israeli government, and prohibited from import and distribution.