Israeli Al Qaeda Recruit Nabbed Returning Home

Arab citizen of Galilee trained in Syria with Al Nusra Front; allegedly was ordered to return to attack Israel.

Ari Yashar ,

Nusra Front terrorist in Syria (illustration)
Nusra Front terrorist in Syria (illustration)
Reuters

Fears have been raised over the growing number of Israeli Arabs traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group. But ISIS isn't the only jihadi group there recruiting Israeli citizens; one Israeli Arab recently decided to join the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda's official branch in Syria - and is suspected of returning to Israel with the intention of launching an attack.

An indictment was filed on Thursday morning at the Haifa district court against Amin Snubar, a 23-year-old resident of Kfar Yasif in the western Galilee of Israel's north, who is accused of sneaking illegally into Syria to fight for jihadist terrorist organizations, reports Walla!.

According to the indictment, Snubar joined the Nusra Front last August and took part in military training to fight against the Syrian army. He planned to die there as a "martyr," having been inculcated with "radical Islamic ideology." He is accused of illegally exiting Israel, joining an illegal military organization, and disrupting legal proceedings.

Snubar decided to head for Syria via Turkey last July, a plan he succeeded in executing with the help of smugglers. He arrived in a general Syrian rebel training camp, where he joined Ansar al-Sham, part of the Islamic Front coalition of radical Islamist opposition forces.

For two weeks he trained at the camp, and then last August joined the Nusra Front where he performed guard duty at the group's military headquarters and camp, received a uniform, and was trained.

The indictment details that he was trained to prepare improvised explosives, to throw grenades and fire RPGs, and likewise took classes in Islam. He even was given disciplinary punishment by the group, spending five days imprisoned in a cave.

Later in August he reportedly returned to Turkey to collect some personal items he had left behind, returning to Syria in October and staying there until December.

He reportedly was in contact with several sources during that period who told him that "it's better for him return to Israel and conduct attacks there or fight against it (Israel) from within."

Apparently following their advice, he decided to return to Israel last December, and before doing so erased the records of online conversations he had while in Syria. He also ordered his family to erase exchanges between them, and destroyed the cell phone he had used in Syria.

On January 2 he returned to Israel via Turkey and landed in Ben-Gurion International Airport, where he was arrested by the authorities. Under Israel Security Agency (ISA) investigation he admitted to being in Syria for the goal of joining rebel forces.

"The same Israeli Arabs who leave for this front get military training and are exposed to an extreme jihadist ideology, and there is a danger that they will be used by terrorist sources in the country (Syria) to conduct military operations against the state of Israel, or to get information on targets in Israel," released ISA in a statement.



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