Abed Altala from Tayibe
is not the first Arab-Israeli who crossed over to Syria
to fight alongside rebel ranks against Assad's regime. In fact, he is the fourth to have been arrested after returning to Israel recently.
Testimonies suggest there is an unknown number of Arab-Israelis who have joined extremist Islamic organizations - a phenomenon that is causing concern in the Shin Bet.
Jihad operatives in Syria
Altala, 26, is on trial for joining terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra, affiliated with al-Qaeda
. From his investigation, security sources suspect his is not a solitary incident.
New members to terrorist organizations go through basic army training while simultaneously being exposed to the ideology of Global Jihad. Arab-Israelis may be used by these organizations to gain information about targets
in Israel. The Shin Bet said that the phenomenon of Arab-Israelis joining rebel forces in Syria is very dangerous as it may allow Syrian sources to assume hostile activity against Israel.
Top sources in the Global Jihad and al-Qaeda organizations, which have thousands of operatives fighting in Syria and hundreds already in a base near the Israeli border, have stated that once they overthrow Assad and make Syria an Islamist state, their next goal will be Jerusalem.
The extremists in Syria
are for the large part from Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq, and sometimes hold European and Australian passports; terrorists carrying an Israeli passport is a new and growing occurrence.
According to the Shin Bet, these organizations have an effective drafting and training system based on two elements: Media, such as television and internet networks, and schools and army training centers.
Minbar al Tawhid Wal Jihad website
Some of the internet websites devoted to Global Jihad is Minbar al Tawhid Wal Jihad, which serves as a platform to publish jihad ideology, advertizing articles and guides on the lifestyle of a jihad operative. Jordan has banned access to the website.
Another category in the website is dedicated to the Abdallah al-Azzam Brigades, which operate in Lebanon
and is apparently responsible for the rocket attack on the Western Galilee last Thursday. Messages from the organization's leader and other al-Qaeda-related organizations and individuals are also published. There are references to jihad organizations around the world, and articles promising the return of "Mohamed's Army" and emphasizing the call to go against Judaism and Christianity.
Another source of inspiration for operatives is a book circulating among jihad organizations called The Global Islamic Resistence Call. The book is a staple for all new jihad draftees, and presents seculars, imperialists and Zionists as enemies of Islam.
The author of the book, Abu Musab, was wanted by US authorities and captured in Pakistan in 2005. He was deported to Syria, where he was released in early 2012, as revenge for the US'
support of rebels. His current whereabouts are unknown.
What until now was a problem of the Arab world appears to be an Israeli problem as well, with more than just a few radical Arab Israeli terrorists being drawn to Syria as the war between rebels and the Assad regime continues.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop