search

Israeli Arab teen indicted for affiliation with Islamic State, plans to make bombs

16-year-old from northern Israel charged with being in contact with jihadists over Telegram, who sent him instructions to build makeshift weapons

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative photo of a member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces removing an Islamic State flag in the town of Tabqa in Syria. (AFP Photo/Delil Souleiman)
Illustrative photo of a member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces removing an Islamic State flag in the town of Tabqa in Syria. (AFP Photo/Delil Souleiman)

Prosecutors on Wednesday filed an indictment against an Arab teen from northern Israel over his alleged affiliation with the Islamic State terror group, the Justice Ministry said.

According to the charge sheet, over the past two years, the 16-year-old was in contact with several members of the jihadist group via the Telegram messaging application and other social media sites.

The indictment, citing the teen’s interrogation by the Shin Bet security agency, said in 2020 he was interested in swearing allegiance to IS and potentially joining its ranks abroad.

In 2021, the teen swore allegiance to the group, and continued being in contact with members, who provided him with instructions to build explosive devices and makeshift weapons, the indictment read.

The teen also attempted to convince several of his friends to join IS as well, however, they declined, according to the indictment.

As he is a minor, the suspect’s name and other identifying details, such as when he was arrested, were barred from publication.

The prosecution has asked to keep the suspect held until the end of legal proceedings.

Last month, six Arab men were arrested for alleged affiliation with IS and plans to commit terror attacks. The men, from Nazareth in northern Israel, were accused of planning to attack a Muslim school, a busy bus stop, a police station and a park where Jewish Israelis often visit.

In August, three Arab men were arrested for alleged affiliation with IS and plans to fight with the jihadist group in Africa. In April, another Arab teen was arrested for planning to join IS in Syria.

Earlier this year, Israeli authorities arrested dozens of alleged Islamic State members following two deadly terror attacks — in Hadera and Beersheba — by Arab Israelis thought to have been inspired by the jihadist group. Another deadly attack in Jerusalem in March was later revealed to have been committed by an Islamic State supporter, who also killed an elderly couple in the same area three years prior.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed