Two Israeli-Arabs Charged With Joining Islamic State

YERUSHALAYIM -
Fares Sharitah, 19, of the Beit Hanina neighborhood of eastern Yerushalayim is brought to the courtroom of the Yerushalayim District Court on Thursday, being charged with attempting to join and be active in ISIS. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Fares Sharitah, 19, of the Beit Hanina neighborhood of eastern Yerushalayim is brought to the courtroom of the Yerushalayim District Court on Thursday, being charged with attempting to join and be active in ISIS. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Indictments were filed against two Israeli-Arabs on Thursday, after they allegedly tried to join the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria.

Hamis Adnan Hamis Salame, a 21-year-old engineering student at the Kinneret College in Northern Israel, from Ramleh, was accused of contacting a foreign agent and attempting to leave the country illegally.

According to the Shin Bet, Salame admitted to the charges in his interrogation, saying that he contacted an ISIS operative via social media after he was influenced by the group’s online videos.

The operative, who told Salame his name was Haji Bachar Alzarawi and that he was stationed in Syria, gave him several instructions and tested him on his knowledge of the group’s activities.

Salame then traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, and flew from there to Adana, close to the Syrian border, the Shin Bet said. Salame notified his ISIS contact upon his arrival, and was told that he will be picked up from his hotel the next day.

However, he was nabbed by the Turkish police in his hotel, and after several days under arrest he was deported back to Israel, where he was arrested at Ben Gurion International Airport.

“The phenomenon of Israeli Arabs leaving for Syria is a very dangerous one, since these arenas are rife with activities by elements hostile to Israel, specifically global jihad elements,” a Shin Bet statement said.

“Those Israeli Arabs who go out to those arenas undergo military training, instruction in extremist jihadist ideology, and there is concern that [if they return] they will be used by terrorists in the country to both carry out attacks against the State of Israel and/or gather intelligence on Israeli targets,” the statement said.