An Israeli-Arab man from the town of Kfar Manda in the Lower Galilee has been arrested for attempting to join Islamic State (ISIS), the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said in a statement Sunday.
The Shin Bet investigation revealed that 24-year-old Muhammad Ahmed Azzam, who was arrested on June 6, followed ISIS propaganda online and recently made concrete preparations to leave Israel in order to join the ranks of ISIS fighters. According to a statement from the Shin Bet, Azzam was communicating online with several ISIS fighters in order to try and join up with them.
The State Attorney’s Office for the Haifa District filed an indictment against Azzam on Sunday in the Chaifa District Court.
“The Shin Bet views Israelis who support ISIS, who are in contact with the group and who join its ranks, as a severe strategic threat,” the agency stated. “The Shin Bet will […] continue to monitor suspects and take necessary enforcement measures in order to thwart the dissemination of ISIS ideology in Israel and prevent Israelis from joining its ranks.”
The Shin Bet said that ISIS is currently losing ground and is on the retreat on most fronts. The reality the organization faces on the ground stands in direct contrast to the apparently positive picture that it is trying to broadcast, mainly online, to potential recruits, the Shin Bet statement said.