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Shin Bet breaks up Islamic Movement terror cell

The Shin Bet security service says it broke up a cell of Arab Israeli men from the Islamic Movement who were planning to carry out shooting attacks against IDF soldiers.

According to the Shin Bet, the three men in the cell began plotting the attack in November 2015 in response to Israel’s decision to outlaw the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement.

They put together their plan throughout 2016, purchasing a Carlo-style improvised submachine gun and electronic transmitters to set off explosives from afar, the Shin Bet says.

Two of them — Muhammad Masri of Beersheba and Abdullah Abu Ayyash of Kuseife — were arrested in December 2016. The third member of the cell, Mahmoud Luisi of Qalansawe, wasn’t arrested until March 2017, as he had traveled to Turkey.

According to the Shin Bet, while in Turkey, Luisi met with members of Hamas in order to secure funds and training from the terrorist organization. He was picked up by the Shin Bet upon his return to Israel, the security service says.

The interrogations of the three members of the cell also led to the arrest of Fares al-Omari, a senior member of the Islamic Movement, as well as two unnamed men from the Galilee, who are suspected of illegally selling weapons.

Indictments have been filed against the suspects, the Shin Bet says.

— Judah Ari Gross

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