Five Israeli Arabs jailed for ties to ISIS

An Israeli court on Thursday jailed five Arab Israelis for terms from 30 months to six years for seeking to join ISIS in Syria.

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ISIS terrorist in Syria (file)
ISIS terrorist in Syria (file)

(AFP) - An Israeli court on Thursday jailed five Arab Israelis for terms from 30 months to six years for seeking to join ISIS in Syria.

Agents of the Shin Bet domestic security service arrested one of the suspected ISIS sympathizers at Ben Gurion airport in 2014 as he attempted to leave Israel for Turkey, on his way to Syria, court documents said.

The man, Karim Abu Saleh from the northern Israeli town of Sakhnin, also "decided to carry out an attack with a firearm against security personnel in Israel," said the charge sheet.

Abu Saleh attempted unsuccessfully to obtain a Kalashnikov assault rifle for that purpose, it said.

He was sentenced to six years in prison.

All the men shared ISIS videos which encouraged the killing of non-Muslims, carried out combat drills and practiced making petrol bombs, said the charge sheet.

"The accused were charged with membership and activity in a banned organization," it said.

Abu Saleh was also charged with conspiracy to commit a firearms offence.

The men had all confessed under a plea bargain arrangement, the document

Israel has so far largely avoided ISIS-inspired attacks, though it estimates that around 50 of its citizens have traveled to Syria to fight with Sunni rebels.

Several Arab Israelis have been arrested on suspicion of links with ISIS and plans to carry out attacks inspired by the Sunni extremist group.

Israeli security officials have said two Palestinian terrorists who murdered four Israelis in Tel Aviv in June had drawn inspiration from ISIS. Similarly, Shin Bet said an Arab Israeli who murdered three people in a January 1 shooting attack in Tel Aviv may have been inspired by the jihadist group.