Mohammad Abu al-Kian, (35) who stabbed four people to death in Be'er sheva on Tuesday, was a Bedouin resident of Hura in the Negev.
In his deadly rampage he also wounded four others, some of them critically before being shot by a bus driver who happened on the scene.
Al – Kian was known to the security agencies. He had served six years in prison after signing a plea deal, for attempting to reach Syria and join the Islamic State forces in 2016. During his sentencing hearing he expressed regret for his decision, and the Judge in the proceedings then wrote that his contrition appeared genuine. He was released in 2019.
According to court filings, Al-Kian was a school teacher in Hura and often preached in his local mosque. He set up a terror squad that had met covertly, where he took the role of spiritual teacher, preaching an extreme Islam practiced by IS.
He has also participated in other groups espousing IS ideology in weekly meetings, near his mosque. One of the attending members had traveled to Syria and was killed there.
He and his cohorts, all planned to join the Islamic State forces in Syria in 2015. He suggested the group travel first to Jordan and later to Saudi Arabia under the guise of innocent tourists. They issued passports and planned to depart during the holy month of Ramadan, and after reaching Saudi Arabia, intended to seek out local contacts that would facilitate their travel to Syria.
Security forces began an investigation to determine whether Tuesday's attack was a lone wolf incident or if there was any organization behind it. They will also be probing al-Kian's family and close associates to determine whether any of them had any prior knowledge of his plans and if anyone assisted him.
First published: 19:04, 03.22.22