Israeli Security Forces Arrest Citizen Muhammad Azzam for Planning to Join ISIS

Israeli security forces prevent terrorism, at home and abroad. Israeli police car. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The resident of an Israeli Arab town was arrested earlier this month for contact with ISIS, also known as the Islamic State (IS), and for making plans to join the brutal terrorist organization. Muhammad Azzam, an Israeli citizen from Kfar Manda, was arrested on June 6 in a joint operation between the Israeli Police and Israel Security Agency (ISA), according to an ISA press release published on Sunday.

During the investigation of Azzam, the ISA said they learned that Azzam “supports the IS idea, followed IS propaganda online and recently made tangible preparations to leave for the combat zone in order to join the ranks of IS fighters.” He was also in online contact with ISIS fighters who were helping him.

The Israelis take the situation very seriously. “The ISA views Israelis who support IS, are in contact with it and who go to fight in its ranks, as a severe strategic threat,” said the ISA press release.

The statement went on to say that the ISA will “continue to monitor suspects and take the necessary enforcement measures in order to thwart the dissemination of the IS ideology in Israel and prevent Israelis from joining its ranks as fighters.”

Over the years, multiple Arabs from Israel have sympathized with ISIS, a global threat that has had followers in the United States, Europe and various parts of the Middle East.

But despite their broad reach, ISIS isn’t doing well right now according to the ISA. The press release included an assessment that ISIS “is currently withdrawing, and is in trouble, in most areas of fighting.” That should stand as a further discouragement to those who want to join the violent and radical organization.

“The reality on the ground is in complete contrast to the seemingly positive picture that the organization is trying to broadcast, mainly online, to potential recruits,” said the ISA. “It should be noted that the lives of IS members in the areas of fighting are under constant threat even as they cope with very severe living conditions.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, June 25, 2017)

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