Two East Jerusalem followers of Islamic State arrested for planning terror attacks

Police say pair viewed ISIS content online, including terror group’s slayings, plotted bomb attacks on security forces; one also being probed over pedophilic material on phone

Illustrative: Israel Police and Border Police operating in East Jerusalem. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: Israel Police and Border Police operating in East Jerusalem. (Israel Police)

Two residents of East Jerusalem accused of supporting the Islamic State terror group have been arrested and are to be indicted for planning to carry out bombing attacks in the capital.

The pair intended to use explosive devices against security forces, the Israel Police and the Shin Bet security service said in a joint statement Thursday.

The suspects, aged 23 and 21, are residents of the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in southeast Jerusalem, they said.

An investigation was launched after the Shin Bet uncovered their plans and they were arrested in late December before they could carry out any attacks.

The statement said that during questioning, it was found that the suspects supported ISIS’s ideology and had consumed its content via the internet and the Telegram social media application. Among the material they viewed was ISIS slayings in combat zones abroad.

“Under the influence of the organization’s material, the two planned to carry out terrorist attacks against police officers and members of the Border Police,” the statement said.

In preparation for the attacks, the suspects studied how to make explosives and carry out sabotage.

During the questioning, investigators also found “pedophilic material” on the phone of one of the suspects. A separate case was opened against him relating to those findings.

Police noted that over the past year, they have foiled dozens of attacks and attempted attacks in the Jerusalem area.

“The Israel Police and the Shin Bet will continue to work with all security forces to counter terrorism and arrest terrorists, with the aim of protecting the citizens of Israel,” the statement said.

In October, three Arab Israelis allegedly affiliated with ISIS were arrested on suspicion of planning to carry out “terror activities,” the Shin Bet said at the time.

They were residents of Sakhnin and Arraba in the north of the country.

Last year, ISIS called for Arabs in Israel to carry out attacks throughout the country.

Security tensions have ramped up in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the shadow of the ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza, sparked by the terror group’s October 7 massacres.

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