A 20-year-old Tel Sheva student, working as a substitute teacher, has been indicted on charges of conspiring with Salafi jihadists from various Arab nations.
The indictment was submitted Monday following a joint investigation by Israel Police and the Shin Bet Israel Security Service.
The Tel Sheva suspect indicted Monday allegedly agreed to help “jihadist activists” infiltrate Israel, according to the Shin Bet. He is also accused of having joined the ‘Salafi Jihadist’ organization.
“Three weeks ago, on January 18, the suspect was arrested upon his return from Jordan and was transferred for interrogation. During the investigation it was found that after leaving for Jordan the suspect made contact with a jihad operative from Tunisia.” The suspect is accused of agreeing to help the operative infiltrate Israel and conspiring to carry out military operations in Israel.
“It was also found that during this period he agreed to join the Salafi Jihad organization,” the Shin Bet said in its statement.
“During the course of the investigation the suspect revealed his connections to the organization and after the evidence was established, the indictment was submitted by the Southern District prosecutor,” the statement continued. The police have requested an extension of the suspect’s remand until the proceedings have been completed.
The Shin Bet issued a warning last year that some Israeli Arab students traveling abroad have been returning with unpleasantly new knowledge acquired outside their classes.
Israeli Arab students are increasingly becoming radicalized while touring or studying abroad, according to the Shin Bet.
Operatives from Da’esh (ISIS) and other terror groups have been recruiting Israeli Arabs while they are attending foreign universities in countries such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Tel Sheva is a Bedouin township in the northern Negev. However, not all those living in the town are Bedouin. Some of the residents have intermarried with Palestinian Authority Arabs and others.
Most of the Bedouin in the northern Negev are Sunni Muslims. Salafi Islam is associated with groups that lean toward the teachings of Al Qaeda. It was the Salafis who were challenging Hamas in a power struggle for control over Gaza, for instance, until Da’esh (ISIS) arrived in the region.Hana Levi Julian