Arab Israeli man traveled to Turkey with wife and three kids to join ISIS in Syria

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Monday, 22 June 2015

Israeli police were investigating a report that an Arab Israeli citizen, who left Israel with his wife and three children and headed to Turkey, was trying to cross the border to Syria in order to join the so-called Islamic State terror group, Israel Radio reported Monday.

The man's family asked authorities to help locate him and his family when they realized they were missing.

The family reside in Sakhnin, a town in the western Galilee region in northern Israel.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Sakhnin Mayor Mazen Ganaim said he could not understand how the man was able to "brainwash" his wife and convince her to join "that cancer, Daesh (the Arabic acronym for 'Islamic State')" with their children, the youngest of whom is a year and a-half-old girl.

The family left Israel last week to attend a graduation ceremony of a relative studying from Romania, and from there traveled to Turkey. The relative alerted the family back in Israel regarding their plans.

Security authorities said in April that they know of about 30 Arab Israelis who have made their way to Syria to fight for fake jihadist groups against Assad's government, but that only a few joined ISIS.

"The phenomenon of Arab Israelis leaving for Syria represents great danger for Israel," the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency said in a statement last year.

Arab Israelis number around 1.6 million, about 20 percent of Israel's population.

In a similar story to the one reported by Israel Radio, local media reported last month that an Arab Israeli man allegedly joined the so-called Islamic State group and traveled to Syria together with his wife, a Jewish Israeli who had converted to Islam.

Salah al-Din Mahamid, a former school teacher from the predominantly Arab-populated Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm, posted online photos showing himself training with automatic weapons, presumably in Syria.

He has also posted a message, reading "I confirm that I am in the Islamist country with my wife who converted to Islam and joined me. Just last month, our son was born."

He has also posted a photo of his newborn child sleeping next to guns and munition rounds.

According to the news website Ynet, Mahamid was arrested last year on suspicious of planning to join the jihadist group that overran large swaths of Syria and Iraq; he was, however, released.

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