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Gantz designates 4 alleged IS fighters as foreign terrorists, per US request

Defense Ministry says this is first time Israel has taken such a step at Washington’s behest; 4 individuals accused of setting up cells throughout Africa

Illustrative: This photo provided by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces shows the flag of the Islamic State and and bags taken from fighters who were arrested by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after IS militants attacked Gweiran Prison, in Hassakeh, northeast Syria, January 21, 2022 (Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, via AP, File)
Illustrative: This photo provided by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces shows the flag of the Islamic State and and bags taken from fighters who were arrested by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after IS militants attacked Gweiran Prison, in Hassakeh, northeast Syria, January 21, 2022 (Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, via AP, File)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz has designated four alleged Islamic State senior members as foreign terrorist operatives, his office said on Monday.

This is the first time that the Defense Ministry has designated foreign terror operatives at the request of the United States, Gantz’s office said.

It also said the decision was made in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, which calls on member states to assist in the effort against global terrorism.

The four individuals — Farhad Hoomer, Siraaj Miller, Abdella Hussein Abadigga and Peter Charles Mbaga — are accused of setting up IS cells across the continent of Africa, raising funds and planning attacks.

The four were designated by the United States Treasury as terrorists in March.

“Israel and the United States see the need to fight terrorist organizations, anywhere and anytime,” Gantz said in a statement.

“We will continue to work to curb the capabilities of terrorist organizations and their operatives, and we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with partners around the world in the face of those who seek to undermine stability and harm [innocents].”

Israel has moved to crack down on Islamic State after six Israelis were killed in a pair of terror attacks in Beersheba and Hadera by Arab Israeli supporters of the jihadist group in March.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks, though it did not appear that the terrorists had been instructed by it to commit them.

Last week, the Islamic State claimed the Israeli Air Force helped assassinate a local jihadist group leader in Egypt’s Sinai Desert in April.

In its weekly al-Naba newspaper, IS said Abu Omar al-Ansari, a military leader in the terror group’s so-called Sinai Province, was killed by “Jewish planes” as the Egyptian army launched a new campaign against the group.

The report said Israeli jets and drones have intensified their air support for the Egyptian army in the past month, in its fight against jihadist group members in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

“This greatly limits the ability of the Mujahideen to move and maneuver,” a security source was quoted as saying in the Islamic State publication.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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