Teacher With ISIS Materials Fined, On House Arrest

Israeli Arab given just one week's house arrest for jihadist materials; claims entire story a 'setup' by police, security services.

Tova Dvorin ,

ISIS fighter in Raqqa, Syria
ISIS fighter in Raqqa, Syria
Reuters

A 24year-old teacher who was caught with Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda was sentenced to a 5,000 shekel ($1,352) fine and a week of house arrest, the Hadera Magistrate's Court ruled Sunday. 

Saladin Mahmeed, an Israeli Arab who works as a teacher in the town of Kafr Qara to the southeast of Haifa, was arrested late last month on charges of associating with a terror organization. 

Mahmeed admitted, while under investigation, that he brought back the materials from Jordan, where he was studying. The propaganda included an ISIS flag and numerous papers and original literature on the topic of jihad, or holy war.

But he denied that the propaganda was incriminatory, however - telling Channel 10 upon leaving the courtroom Sunday that the material was "for the sake of a news story." 

"All the books are Islamic textbooks, and the flag is just a Muslim symbol," he insisted to reporters.

ISIS materials found in teacher's home. Police Spokesperson's Unit

The teacher's lawyer, Muhammad Aghbariya, also insisted that the materials were harmless - and the story, a setup. 

"From the beginning we said that this story is a complete fiction," Aghbariya stated. "My client denies any connection to the ISIS organization and everything found in his possession are Islamic symbols."

"All extensions of his detention were in vain," he insisted. "Everything is an invention of the police and the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency - ed.]."

Thought ISIS has no known presence in Israel, security services are concerned that sympathizers could still pose a threat.

Indeed, members of the terrorist group released a video showing how they took part in the recent war against Israel in Gaza, and at least one former ISIS jihadist was killed in the Gaza fighting.

There has also been an alarming amount of support for the group among Arab citizens of Israel, including some flying ISIS flags and posting praise for the group on Facebook and other social media sites.

And last month saw the first conviction of an Israeli Arab who had returned after fighting alongside the jihadi group in Syria.



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