Photo: Shin Bet security service
Ranwa Shinawi
Photo: Shin Bet security service

Arab Israeli woman arrested for alleged terrorist activity in Syria

Ranwa Shinawi from Western Galilee, spent year in war-torn country before she was suspected of spying for Israel and forced to return to Turkey; 22-year-old accused of making contact with foreign agent, trying to join terror group

Israel last month arrested a Galilee woman on suspicion of illegally travelling to Syria and joining radical Islamic terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra, it emerged Sunday after a gag order was lifted.



Ranwa Shinawi, aged 22 from the Arab village of Makr in the Western Galilee, spent a year in Syria and was arrested by the Shin Bet security service upon her return to Israel on May 7.


Ranwa Shinawi (Photo: Shin Bet security service)
Ranwa Shinawi (Photo: Shin Bet security service)


Shinawi was indicted on Friday at Haifa District Court for allegedly making contact with a foreign agent, attempting to join a terrorist organization and other offenses. She is also accused of assaulting her Shin Bet interrogators.


According to the indictment, "since 2017, the defendant has shown an increasing desire to die 'a martyr's death' through jihadist activity due to, inter alia, the actions of the Israeli security forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which the defendant saw as humiliation of Muslim worshipers."


Jabhat al-Nusra activists in Syria
Jabhat al-Nusra activists in Syria


The indictment states that for about four months, beginning in late 2017, Shinawi consumed content related to various jihadist organizations, including videos on the ideology of these organizations and others documenting attacks by these groups.


At the start of 2018, Shinawi allegedly decided to go to Syria in order to join the fight by jihadist groups. She is accused of having contact during this period with a member of Jabhat al-Nusra named Abed, whom she allegedly planned to marry when she arrived in Syria.


According to the Shin Bet, Shinawi also stole money from her family, which she used to fly to Turkey.


In March 2018, Shinawi left Israel for Turkey, and from there tried to enter Syria at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between the two countries. After several attempts, during which she was detained by Turkish forces, she managed to cross the border by posing as a wounded Syrian woman who was returning home after treatment in Turkey.


When she arrived in Syria, she discovered that Abed already had a wife and refused to marry him.


Jabhat al-Nusra activists in Idlib, Syria (Photo: Reuters)
Jabhat al-Nusra activists in Idlib, Syria (Photo: Reuters)


During her stay in Syria, Shinawi allegedly befriended member of the terrorist organization, the Syrian offshoot of Al-Qaeda, studied in its religious institutions and stayed with its members until she was detained at Idlib prison by members of the organization who suspected her of being sent by Israel.


After she was released from prison, Shinawi allegedly tried to continue with her terrorist activities, but the organization escorted her to the Turkish border and told her to give herself up. From Turkey she returned to Israel.


The Shin Bet said: "The findings of Shinawi's investigation reveal an extreme ideological outlook, most of whose advocates support the Islamic State and have a deep hatred for Jews."


פרסום ראשון: 06.02.19, 14:54
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