The indictment, delivered to the Nazareth Illit District Court and cleared for publication on Tuesday, charged the five men, all relatives between the ages of 18-27, with organizing an illegal network, storing weapons and even carrying out drills for potential attacks in urban areas.
According to the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, and prosecutors from the Northern District office, the cell was preparing to launch attacks in Israel on behalf of ISIS, although they had no plans themselves to visit Syria, where the terrorist group is headquartered. The indictment revealed that the five had discussed ISIS ideology among themselves on Facebook.
The members of the cell, according to Israel’s Channel 2 news, were Abd al-Karim Ihab Abd al-Rahman Suleiman, 22, Muhammad Ihab Abd al-Rahman Suleiman, 18, Abd al-Karim Jamal Ali Suleiman, 23, Muhammad Saleh Muhammad Suleiman, 19, and Murad Muhammad Salim Suleiman, 27.
According to the indictment, the five spent the last year amassing weapons to be used in an attack, and even practiced shooting these firearms. Additionally, the members apparently became newly religious and held meetings, pledging their allegiance to ISIS and praising jihad against those considered heretics.
Former national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, told an Israeli radio station on Monday, according to The Jerusalem Post, that there were three ways ISIS was likely to try to attack Israel. One of these methods was the establishment of an ISIS cell among Israeli Arabs.
The other two methods were either setting up a terror cell among Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, or launching an attack using ISIS-affiliated groups in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, along Israel’s southern border or in the Syrian Golan region.
Amidror noted Shin Bet’s capabilities when it comes to thwarting terror cells in Israel and among the Palestinians of the West Bank and east Jerusalem — all under the security service’s purview.
As for the external cells in Egypt or Syria, Amidror said the IDF — and likely its intelligence branch, Aman — was prepared to encounter such threats.