The indictments filed on Friday at The Jerusalem District and Magistrates' Courts against six Israeli Arabs on charges of planning to build an al-Qaeda infrastructure in Israel came as a shock to residents of the northern Arab Israeli town of Tayibe. The news that 22-year old local resident Ibrahim Nashef was part of the terror cell caught his neighbors by surprise.
“We had no idea whyhe was arrested,” a Tayibe resident said, “it’s no small matter. This is about belonging to an international terror organization in our backyard. If they arrested him for belonging to Hamas we would somehow fathom and understand that this was a small local terror organization, but being part of al-Qaeda - that’s a big thing, very big.
“Now it all makes sense, although we are surprised by his arrest,” said the resident. “He’s not someone known as a troublemaker…on the contrary, he is a quiet introverted guy who couldn’t be suspected of anything of this kind. “
The Nashef clan which Ibrahim belongs to is one of the largest in Tayibe and has not been involved in criminal or terror activity in the past.