Israel Police to Crack Down on Shows of Support for Islamic State

Public expression of support for jihadist group, including Facebook posts, will lead to criminal investigation, police chief Yohanan Danino says.


Israel Police will crack down on any public sign of support for the jihadist group Islamic State, Police chief Yohanan Danino said Monday, after the defense minister declared the group an "unauthorized organization" last week.

Speaking at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism's World Summit, Danino said he gave instructions to open a criminal investigation into "any expression of solidarity," including hoisting banners and Facebook posts, with Islamic State.

In his speech, Danino said that though Islamic State has no physical presence in Israel, the problem with the group is that "in the internet world, youth are exposed to the group's radical spirit, and are influenced by it."

Last week, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon declared the jihadist group Islamic State an "unauthorized organization," laying the legal groundwork for the possibility that Israel might discover Islamic State cells within its borders or in the West Bank.

The move is a proactive step enabling Israel to halt the transfer of funds to any local groups affiliated with Islamic State and take legal action against its members or operatives.

The Defense Ministry website defines an unauthorized organization as any group of people that "suggests, incites or encourages" unauthorized activity including terrorism targeting the Israeli government and states that Israel may legally seize any assets of an unauthorized organization.

Olivier Fitoussi