Israeli intelligence arrests six Palestinian Daesh suspects

Published November 18th, 2015 - 12:24 GMT

Israeli authorities on Wednesday announced the arrest of a group of six Arab citizens from the town of Jaljulya who are alleged to have made plans to enlist in the ranks of the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria.

Word of the arrests was placed under a gag order until Wednesday.

The investigation, which was jointly handled by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the police, began after another Jaljulya native, Nadal Salah, 23, paraglided into Syria last month over the Golan Heights frontier in order to join ISIS.

Israeli authorities began investigating the circumstances of Salah's departure. On the night that he paraglided into Syria, the Shin Bet arrested two brothers who are alleged to have helped him cross the border.

The brothers have been identified as Jihad Hagla, 26, and Ahab Hagla, 22. The two men have been known to authorities as harboring sympathies for ISIS.

According to the Shin Bet, Jihad Hagla spent six months in Syria fighting in the ranks of ISIS. Following his return in 2014, he was tried and sentenced to prison.

The brothers told Shin Bet interrogators that they assisted Salah in his efforts to cross over into Syria, practicing paragliding in order to simulate the flight and landing. The plan was to paraglide over the Golan Heights in order to avoid the stringent security checks at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Investigators also learned of the alleged complicity of four other Jaljulya residents involved in the planning of the paragliding trip: Mohammed Oudeh, 28; Anas Nadal Yusef Hagla, 19; Mohammed Zakagti, 22; and Adnan Ismail Aynash, 21.

The Shin Bet says that Jihad Hagla was the ringleader of the group who hosted religious lessons, political discussions, and formulation of plans to eventually join ISIS in Syria.

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