Yerushalayim Arab Indicted for Islamic State Activities

Islamic State group flag. (FBI/U.S Attorney’s Office, District of Hawaii via AP, File)

An Arab who was in Israel illegally is being charged with a series of security crimes, including working on behalf of Islamic State. Ghasan Bin Musa Alaan, 44, remained in Israel after his visa expired, swore allegiance to Islamic State, and planned to carry out terror attacks on its behalf, an indictment filed Monday against him in a Yerushalayim court says.

Alaan was married to an Israeli citizen, a resident of the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of Yerushalayim. The two married abroad, and Alaan applied for a resident visa in Israel as part of a “family unification” program. He received a one-year visa, which he allowed to lapse instead of renewing, and remained in Israel illegally. At some point between the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 he swore allegiance to Islamic State, and attempted to recruit Arabs in his local community to join the group as well.

Three years ago, his uncle Muhammad left Israel in order to fight for Islamic State in Syria. Alaan kept up contact with him, speaking to him on the phone on a regular basis. He raised over NIS 150,000 for his uncle, transferring the cash via couriers, who have yet to be identified. In 2016, he began organizing a cell in Yerushalayim to carry out a terror attack. Three people joined his group, but they decided to abandon the plan after realizing it would put their families in danger.

“The defendant was a member of a terror group,” the indictment against him reads. “He carried out activities to advance the cause of terror, transferring assets to a terror group. He did all this while residing in Israel illegally.” Prosecutors requested that the court hold Alaan for the extent of legal actions against him.

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