Two Palestinians Charged With Planning Terror Attack in Name of ISIS

The East Jerusalem men, one of whom allegedly tried to join Islamic State in Syria, are accused of acquiring materials to construct a bomb that was to target an Israeli security vehicle.

Islamic State fighters in northern Syria, in 2015.
AP

Two Palestinians from East Jerusalem have been accused of planning an attack on an Israeli security vehicle in Jerusalem in the name of the Islamic State. The two men, Muasab Alian, 23, and Samir Abed-Rabbo, 38, residents of the Sur Baher neighborhood, were charged Monday by the Jerusalem district prosecutor's office with a number of offenses including conspiracy to aid the enemy in wartime, contact with a foreign agent and membership in and support for a terrorist organization, also known as ISIS.

Alian allegedly became an ISIS supporter in early 2014, according to the indictment, and last year began participating in a local group that preached the militant Islamic ideology of the movement, of whom he apparently saw himself as a member. Last October, he went to Jordan to obtain a passport that would enable him to travel on to Turkey and from there to cross the border into Syria. In Jordan, Alian was apparently arrested and questioned for several days by the authorities and then returned to Israel. He then apparently planned to contact the Turkish consulate in an effort to travel to Turkey and also looked into whether he could get to Syria via Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

With respect to the second defendant, Abed-Rabbo, the indictment alleges that he learned about ISIS on the Internet and followed its activities. At the end of last year, the two defendants allegedly contacted a third individual to help make a bomb and target an Israeli security vehicle in Jerusalem – in ISIS’ name.

Alian is the one who apparently sought to carry out the attack; he approached Abed-Rabbo, who purportedly had prior knowledge and experience preparing explosive devices. In October they were said to have bought a cellphone to remotely detonate the bomb, used a coffee grinder to mix the necessary substances, and acquired an ampere meter and iron oxide powder.

The prosecutor’s office has asked that the defendants be kept in custody until the end of proceedings against them.

In a separate case, earlier this month in the Nazareth District Court two local residents were accused of supporting ISIS and contacting a member of the group in Syria. The two are accused of planning a shooting attack at Israeli security forces in the northern town of Afula, as well as at the Gilboa border crossing and in Jerusalem.