Israeli Arab Joined Al-Qaida in Syria, Returned After Suspected as Double Agent, Indictment Shows

Ranwa Rasami Mohammad Shinawi agreed to join Nusra Front at the behest of a Syrian citizen, out of a desire to die 'a martyr’s death,' Shin Bet says

Supporters of the Al Nusra Front in Aleppo on September 26, 2014
Gil Eliahu

An Israeli Arab woman from the Western Galilee was arrested in May and indicted for being a member of Al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate Nusra Front, the Shin Bet security service said on Sunday.

According to the Shin Bet, 22-year-old Ranwa Rasami Mohammad Shinawi was arrested on May 7 when she returned to Israel from Syria. The State Prosecutor's Northern District indicted her on Friday.

Ranwa Rasami Mohammad Shinawi
Shin Bet security service

Shinawi agreed to join Nusra at the behest of a Syrian citizen, out of a desire to die “a martyr’s death," the Shin Bet statement said. She stole money from her family to pay for the trip, flying to Turkey and then crossing into Syria with false documents.

Shinawi stayed with Nusra members until they arrested and jailed her in Idlib on suspicion of being a double agent working for Israel. She asked to return to Nusra while she was in jail, but then left Syria for Turkey and was returned to Israel.

Shinawi is charged with maintaining contact with a foreign agent, attempting to join a terror group and exiting the country illegally.