Shin Bet Cracks Down on Outlawed Islamic Movement

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Shin Bet revealed on Thursday that it has arrested members of the Islamic Movement who have been operating on behalf of the group’s outlawed northern branch.

Security forces detained and interrogated six operatives belonging to the group Islamic Movement in Israel in late March and early April; it was cleared for release on Thursday.

During questioning, it emerged that the suspects had supported continuance of the outlawed movement’s activities, with an emphasis on Yerushalayim. They also worked through an NGO that hid its ties to the movement.

Under the guidance of Suleiman Agbaria, Mustafa Agbaria and the other detainees were responsible for this activity, through the coordination and brokering of foreign funds connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.

These funds are said to have served as a significant and central financial conduit for the Islamic Movement, even prior to being declared an illegal organization; and once outlawed, the suspects continued to transfer money for the activity of movement, including large sums of cash.

During the investigation, two men were caught by authorities trying to move over $20,000 in cash, the Shin Bet stated.

Among those arrested was a senior member of the movement, Suleiman Agbaria, who served as the movement’s director. Other suspects arrested by the Shin Bet were named as Suleiman Ahmad Mustafa Agbaria, Mustafa Ali Diab Egbarieh, Muhammad Harbi ‘Abed Zabta Mahajna, Fuaz Hassan Yusuf Agbaria and Mahmud Ahmad Mahmoud Jabarin. All of those arrested were from the northern Arab city of Umm al-Fahm. Musa Muhammad Hamdan Salameh, a resident of Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem, was also detained.

An additional 20 people were also interrogated over the course of the investigation, including the founder of the movement, Omar Muhammad Ahmed Gripat, a resident of Beit Zarzir.

In November 2015, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman ruled that the northern branch of the Islamic Movement was an unlawful association and released warrants to crack down on organizations and entities that operated on behalf of the movement in Israel. The Islamic Movement has been defined as a terror organization by Israel since it introduced a law battling terrorism in November of 2016.