Police Arrest Israeli for Possessing Islamic State Banner

24-year-old teacher detained on suspicion of being associated with the radical group after IS flag, other jihad materials found in his possession.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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The material apprehended by police.
The material apprehended by police. Credit: The Police Spokesman's Unit
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Israel Police on Monday arrested an Israeli citizen suspected of being associated with the Islamic State group.

The man, a 24-year-old resident of the Arab town of Kfar Kara in the Galilee, was found in possession of an Islamic State flag and other "jihad materials" in his possession, police said.

Police Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld tweeted a photograph of "materials apprehended by police as part of ongoing investigation involving suspect associated with ISIS." In another tweet, Rosenfeld said that the investigation is still ongoing.

The suspect is a teacher of Islam, and had spent some time living in Jordan. Police found the materials in the home of the suspect following a tip-off. The suspect's attorney, Mohammed Saliman Agbariyah, said his client totally denies the accusations.

He said that police only arrested his client for possessing the flag, adding that even if the flag is that of a terror organization such as IS, having the flag at home is not a crime as long as his client has not waved the flag in public.

He also said that "it is important to emphasize that this is a flag of Islam from the days of the Prophet Mohammed and that you can't blame everyone who has a flag like this in their home as someone who supports a terror organization."

"There is no doubt that the police were very reckless," he added, saying that the authorities are trying to frame his client with "empty claims and the evidence for that is that the police asked for six days of house arrest and the court partially fulfilled their request and extended the detention by three days."

Materials apprehended by police as part of ongoing investigation involving suspect associated with ISIS. pic.twitter.com/P8Sb2DtSSg

Earlier this month, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon declared the jihadist group that has seized control of parts of Iraq and Syria an "unauthorized organization." 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.

This is not the first time an Israeli citizen has found themselves on the wrong side of the law on this issue. Earlier this month, a 23-year-old man from Umm al-Fahm was convicted in a Haifa court for illegally entering Syria and fighting with Islamic State, which the presiding judge deemed to be a danger to Israel's security.

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