It was released for publication on Sunday that Israeli forces have arrested three Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Yehudah and Shomron, the first known Palestinian cell linked to the Syria- and Iraq-based group, the Shin Bet internal security service said.
It said the three men, all in their early 20s and from Chevron, were arrested in November and told interrogators they planned to attack Israeli soldiers and a Jewish civilian.
News of the arrests of the three men, Muhammad Zerrue, 21, Ahmad Shehadeh, 22, and Qusai Meswadeh, 23, was previously under gag order.
The Shin Bet statement described the three as “identifying with” ISIS.
A Shin Bet official said this was the first case Israel knew of in which Palestinians planned attacks in the name of Islamic State, whose bases in Syria and Iraq have drawn dozens of foreign volunteers, including Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.
The three detainees are to be tried in Israeli military courts. It was not immediately clear from the Shin Bet statement whether they had been assigned lawyers or how they would plead to terrorism charges against them.
All members of the cell confirmed the plots under interrogation. Two of them said they had fashioned homemade bombs, one of which they had thrown at Israeli soldiers, though b’chasdei Shamayim, no one was hurt.
The cell planned to carry out a range of terrorist attacks, the Shin Bet said.
Meanwhile, the IDF has established a new department dedicated to gather intelligence on Islamic State operations, according to Arutz Sheva.
The intelligence effort is under the aegis of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (known in Hebrew as Aman), focusing on the spread of ISIS within Israel’s borders.
The IDF tracks the military methods of the organization, as well as its propaganda activities, including videos.