09:10 GMT30 October 2020
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    Israel's domestic intelligence agency arrested two men from the Nazareth area on suspicion of being Daesh operatives plotting a terror attack in northern Israel.

    The suspects, who are cousins, were arrested on November 22 as part of a joint investigation between the Shin Bet and the Israeli police Northern District, the Shin Bet said on Thursday.

    The men were identified as Muhammad Bader Hassan, 20, of Rina, and Ahmed Sa'adiya, 23, of Umm El-Ghanem, the Jerusalem Post reported. The two allegedly traveled to Turkey in May with the intention of entering Syria and joining Daesh.

    Before the journey, Sa'adiya allegedly communicated with Daesh militants in Syria and Turkey, and received directions and assistance in crossing into Syria.

    The suspects arrived at a Turkish border city and met with Daesh border smugglers, the Shin Bet said. But while waiting to cross, the two met families of Syrian refugees who were fleeing Daesh, and heard horror stories about the extremist group. They also received urgent requests to return home from family members in Israel.

    The two men then decided not to enter Syria, and instead returned to Israel, according to the Shin Bet.

    Yet, back in Israel, the suspects continued to access extremist ideology on the Internet and speak with Daesh supporters in Israel. The two began plotting a terrorist attack in Israel, and chose Golani Junction in the North as a potential target due to the many soldiers who travel through the area, the Jerusalem Post reported.

    Sa'adiya sought to purchase weapons, but the two were arrested before he could do so.

    The investigation "underlines the great risk posed by extremist ideology and easy access to illegal weapons," the Shin Bet said, adding that the radicalization process was brief.

    On Thursday, state prosecutors charged the two at the Nazareth District Court with a host of security offenses, according to the Jerusalem Post.

    terror attack, terrorism, Shin Bet, Daesh, Syria, Turkey, Israel
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