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Shin Bet announces arrest of 3 Arab Israelis for Islamic State ties

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

This photo released by the Shin Bet security agency on August 15, 2022, shows Arab Israelis  Muhammad Farouk Yousef Agbaria and Abd al-Mahdi Masoud Muhammad Jabarin, who were arrested for alleged ties to the Islamic State jihadist group. (Shin Bet)
This photo released by the Shin Bet security agency on August 15, 2022, shows Arab Israelis Muhammad Farouk Yousef Agbaria and Abd al-Mahdi Masoud Muhammad Jabarin, who were arrested for alleged ties to the Islamic State jihadist group. (Shin Bet)

The Shin Bet security agency announces that in recent weeks three Arab men were arrested for affiliation with Islamic State, two of whom allegedly planned to join the jihadist group in Africa.

On July 14, Muhammad Farouk Yousef Agbaria and Abd al-Mahdi Masoud Muhammad Jabarin, both 21 from the northern city of Umm al-Fahm, were detained over their alleged plans to fly to Africa to fight alongside Islamic State, the Shin Bet says.

The Shin Bet says the pair were “closely monitored by security forces, given that they were identified to have extreme Salafi-jihadist ideologies.”

According to the Shin Bet, Agbaria and Jabarin consulted another Umm al-Fahm man, who recently returned to Israel from fighting with al-Qaeda in Africa, on how to travel there.

The pair also practiced shooting ahead of their planned trip to Africa, the agency says.

In a separate case, a Bedouin man from a village in the Rafa’i’a area, east of Beersheba, was detained on July 22 for alleged affiliation with Islamic State.

In his interrogation, Muhammad al-Rafa’i’a, 30, admitted he supported Islamic State and its goals, and sought to fight for the group in Israel, the Shin Bet says.

Agbaria, Jabarin, and al-Rafa’i’a were each charged with “serious security offenses” and other weapons-related offenses, according to the Shin Bet.

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