Israeli Arab Arrested Over Attempt to Join IS

YERUSHALAYIM -
A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq, in this June 23, 2014 file photo. To match MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-TURKEY REUTERS/Stringer/Files
A member of the Islamic State terror group holds an IS flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq, in this 2014 file photo. (Reuters/Stringer/Files)

Israeli officials on Wednesday announced that a 23 year old Arab from the town of Um el-Fahem had been arrested for attempting to join IS. Hassan Yussef Agbaria was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport on June 10, on his way back from Istanbul. He was arrested by Turkish security officers based on joint intelligence work by Israeli and Turkish officials, Israeli officials said. An indictment was handed down against him Wednesday morning.

Agbaria had traveled to Istanbul, from where he planned to travel to the Syrian border and join IS. He landed in Istanbul and made his way to the town of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, where he was to meet IS handlers. Turkish police, acting on intelligence information, arrested him before that meeting took place. Agbaria was questioned and put on a plane back to Israel, and was arrested upon arrival.

Officials said that he had left a letter with his family explaining what he planned to do, and had also informed friends of his destination. The officials did not say if it was his parents or his friends who turned him in.

On Tuesday night, security officials said that they had uncovered a gang of 19 terrorists from the Arab village of Beit Fajr, near Chevron. The gang was responsible for many incidents of rock and firebomb attacks in the Chevron area, they said.