ISIS affiliates encourage further attacks in Israel

April 6, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israeli Arabs who were affiliated with Islamic State (ISIS) perpetrated two terrorist attacks in the Israeli cities of Beersheba and Hadera, leaving six dead and about 20 injured.

Scene of one attack Photo: Elyashiv Rakowsky/TPS on 29 March, 2022

The two terrorists who carried out the attack in Hadera and murdered two Israelis were identified as Ibrahim and Ayman Agbaria, cousins from Umm al-Fahm, one of whom was charged in 2016 with attempting to join ISIS. They were killed by a Special Forces unit that happened to be nearby.

In a statement published by ISIS on its Telegram channel, it officially claimed responsibility for the attack in Hadera. In a statement published by ISIS’ Amaq Agency, the terrorist attack in Beersheba was also mentioned, although ISIS did not officially claim responsibility for it.

In the past few days, several media outlets affiliated with ISIS launched a propaganda campaign intended to encourage the organization’s supporters in Israel to continue carrying out terrorist attacks against Israelis, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) reported.

The campaign is conducted mainly through videos disseminated on social media. The videos include a combination of archive photos of terrorist attacks perpetrated in Israel, including the last two attacks in Beersheba and Hadera, along with quotes by ISIS leaders and spokesmen calling for war against Israel.

Little is known about who is behind the clips. They are not part of ISIS’s official media network, the ITIC estimated.

Mu’assassat al-Khayr, which is affiliated with ISIS, released a video entitled “Killing the Jews” (Qital al-Yahud). It includes archive footage that appeared in Israeli media, documenting riots on Temple Mount, with the voice of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi heard in the background threatening the Jews in Israel that ISIS operatives are about to arrive from Iraq, Khorasan (Afghanistan), Somalia, and other countries, ready to sacrifice themselves and their property for the sake of Al-Aqsa.

Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, ISIS’s former spokesman, is heard saying that ISIS has “not forgotten Palestine” and that soon, ISIS’s jihad fighters will be heard in Al-Aqsa and kill the Jews.

Both senior ISIS officials are dead.

The ISIS-affiliated Al-Dar’ al-Sunni Foundation released a video entitled “The First Rain,” suggesting the hope that there will be more rain later, showing security camera footage that appeared in the Israeli media documenting the terrorist attacks in Beersheba and Hadera.

While ISIS’ primary objective is to fight the infidel and spread their version of Islam, various events and incidents over the years have changed ISIS’ order of priorities and led it to call for carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets, the ITIC noted.

Israel’s police have arrested about 50 Islamic State (ISIS) sympathizers in the country following the recent terror attacks in Be’er Sheva and Hadera. Most of them were released shortly after their arrest and questioning and are now under surveillance.

However, Dr. Asaf Maliach, an expert on radical Islam with special expertise in global jihad and al-Qaeda, explained to TPS that there is good reason to doubt that ISIS was actually behind the attacks.

“Waving ISIS flags is not enough to be accepted into the ranks of the organization, nor is distributing a video in which you make an oath to ISIS,” Dr. Maliach said.

Maliach explained that membership in ISIS requires a swearing-in ceremony which usually takes place in the presence of an ISIS leader, but in recent years it can also be carried out via the Internet. The recruits receive official and written confirmation of their membership in the Islamic State.

He said that it is highly doubtful if this happened with the terrorists who committed the recent attacks and who are Israeli citizens.

He also doubted that the video released by the terrorists from Umm al-Fahm before the attack in Hadera was genuine and that they may not have really been affiliated with ISIS.

“ISIS, however, may take advantage of the attacks to try and recruit more operatives and prove ISIS activity in the Palestinian arena,” he warned.

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