Two Israeli Arabs Charged With Supporting ISIS, Planning Terror Attacks

Nazareth residents accused of trying to contact Islamic State group in Syria and expressing support for its activities while planning attack against Israeli security forces.

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Two Israeli Arabs, Baha Aldin, 20, and Ahmed Ahmed, 22, in court for supporting ISIS, planning terror attacks in Israel. March 3, 2015.
Two Israeli Arabs, Baha Aldin, 20, and Ahmed Ahmed, 22, in court for supporting ISIS, planning terror attacks in Israel. March 3, 2015.Credit: Rami Shllush

Two Israeli Arabs from Nazareth are accused of supporting the Islamic State terror group and planning a terror attack in Israel, it was cleared for publication Thursday morning.

The two, Baha Aldin, 20, and Ahmed Ahmed, 22, were charged with contacting an enemy agent and support of a terror group. They also tried to contact representatives from ISIS in Syria, their indictment alleged.

According to the Shin Bet, Aldin was arrested towards the end of January and his interrogation revealed that he was planning a shooting attack against Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and in the Jalama (Gilboa) Crossing in the West Bank, prompting Ahmed's arrest.

The two planned to purchase a rifle each, pledging to spend up to 1500 shekel ($385) on the firearms.

According to the indictment the two closely followed ISIS' activities online and expressed support for the group.

Some of the investigation's details are still barred from publication.

This is not the first time Israeli Arabs have been linked with ISIS in Israel. The stabbing attack that took place in Ashkelon earlier this month was said to be inspired by ISIS ideology according to the Shin Bet.

In 2015, there were  a string of arrests related to Israeli citizens trying to join ISIS fighters in Syria, including a case whereby a young Israeli Arab was arrested for paragliding over the border into Syria.

While support for ISIS appears limited among Israeli Arabs, the Shin Bet has said in the past that “the phenomenon of [Israeli Arabs] joining ISIS constitutes a significant danger to state security.”

Aldin's attorney told Haaretz that his client's confession was extracted from him under severe torture by his interrogators and that the case had been blown out of all proportion. "I hope that, after receiving copies of the material from the interrogation, we will be able to prove his innocence in court," attorney Mofid Nazzal said.

Nazzal's accusation was repeated by attorney Yosef Shalvi, representing Ahmed, who accused the interrogators of using force to solve the case at all costs.