Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

The following has been cleared for publication:

In a joint Shabak (Israel Security Agency/ISA)-Israel Police operation, on 6 June 2017, Muhammad Ahmed Azzam, born in 1993, an Israeli citizen, a resident of Kfar Manda, was arrested in the wake of information to the effect that he supports and identifies with Islamic State, that he is in contact with IS terrorists and supporters, and that he was making preparations to join the organization and the fighting.

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In his investigation, it was learned that Azzam supports the IS ideology, followed IS propaganda online and recently made tangible preparations to leave for the combat zone in order to join the ranks of IS fighters. It was also learned that Azzam was in contact online with several IS fighters who were assisting him in his preparations.

The State Attorney (Haifa District), today (Sunday), 25 June 2017, in Haifa District Court, filed an indictment against Azzam.

The ISA views Israelis who support IS, are in contact with it and who go to fight in its ranks, as a severe strategic threat. The ISA will, therefore, continue to monitor suspects and take the necessary enforcement measures in order to thwart the dissemination of the IS ideology in Israel and prevent Israelis from joining its ranks as fighters.

IS is currently withdrawing, and is in trouble, in most areas of fighting.

That reality on the ground is in complete contrast to the seemingly positive picture that the organization is trying to broadcast, mainly online, to potential recruits. It should be noted that the lives of IS members in the areas of fighting are under constant threat even as they cope with very severe living conditions.

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