Fake Money Featuring ISIS Chief Found Littered Across Northern Israel
Color printouts of $100 bills bearing an image of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were found littered across northern Israel on Monday in what appears to be a propaganda campaign that drifted over from the Syrian civil war, Israel’s Army Radio reported on Tuesday.
A man from the northern Israeli moshav — or agricultural town — Sde Eliezer reportedly called the police to report that he had discovered “heaps” of the fake money.
Eventually, the notes were also discovered in other local towns, including Yesud HaMa’ala, Kibbutz Hulata and the Hula Lake.
The fake $100 bills also featured the portrait of Abu Mohammed al-Julani, the elusive leader of Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda in Syria, alongside the ISIS leader.
On the back of the bills is the Arabic text: “Enough with dirty money. Return to your God. Good are the sinners who repent.”
According to Israel’s Channel 10, the bills were probably dropped by the Syrian Air Force somewhere in the outskirts of Damascus in an attempt to persuade opposition fighters to surrender and lay down their weapons.
Many who discovered the notes believed the money was actually pro-ISIS propaganda. A former IDF spokeswoman, Avital Leibovich, tweeted that the bills were discovered in kindergartens.
These were placed in kindergartens in Jewish communities#Israel today courtesy of ISIS followers.Police investigates pic.twitter.com/UTaZFqfMRI
— Avital Leibovich (@AvitalLeibovich) December 29, 2015
Damascus is less than 75 kilometers (44 miles) from the Israeli border in the Golan Heights. The Syrian army began moving in recent weeks to recapture territory in some of the last opposition strongholds in the south, including the Golan Heights and Daraa.
Earlier this year, fighting between the Syrian army and opposition groups raged in villages just across the border, many of them Druze. Fighting and explosions could be seen from observation points in Israel.
Israel maintains a neutral position regarding the Syrian civil war, but has carried out airstrikes against targets, mostly belonging to Hezbollah, in Syria since the outbreak of the conflict. Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese Druze who worked for Hezbollah and also Iran, was killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike earlier this month.
Israeli generals have warned about the threat posed by ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria, particularly in the Golan Heights.