Report: First-Ever Case of IDF Reservist Joining ISIS in Syria
An Israeli Arab who previously served in the Israel Defense Forces has become the latest ISIS recruit from Israel, Israeli site Walla reported on Thursday.
The man — reported to be the first Israeli citizen to have served in the IDF and joined ISIS in Syria — was from an Arab village in northern Israel. According to his army identification card, he would have been released in January 2014, which makes him in his early 20s.
According to Walla, which based its article on Arab media reports, he probably flew from Israel to Turkey, and from there traversed the vast and rather porous border to Syria. His dog tag apparently traveled with him.
Israel, like other Western nations, has seen its citizens go to Syria to join the ranks of ISIS fighters attempting to install a new Islamic caliphate.
According to Walla, some 100-150 Israelis have either been stopped by the authorities en route to — or managed to reach — Syria to join ISIS, which has reportedly enlisted tens of thousands of mercenaries from more than 100 nations around the globe.
Earlier this week, five Nazareth men were indicted for organizing a terrorist cell to carry out attacks against Israel on behalf of ISIS.
Israeli security officials have warned ISIS could try to perpetrate attacks from outside, set up terror cells among Palestinians, stage cross-border attacks, or recruit members from inside the country.
Concerns have mounted in Western nations over the return of radicalized citizens who have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq for ISIS, especially after the terrorist attacks against soft targets in Paris last month that killed 130.
While Israel has been facing a wave of terrorism, most of them random stabbings of security personnel and civilians, these attacks are believed to be largely uncoordinated, and not related to any specific terror group.
ISIS-affiliated groups have claimed responsibility for some rocket attacks, mostly emanating from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.