JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Bedouin citizens of Israel were arrested for allegedly planning to carry out an attack for the Islamic State terrorist group.
The 19-year-old residents of Lakiya in the Negev in southern Israel were indicted Monday in a Beersheba court on charges of being in contact with Islamic State terrorists. The charges also include planning a deadly terror attack and joining an illegal organization.
Rahma al-Assad and Tasnin al-Assad are accused of contacting Islamic State terrorists abroad last year, the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, said in a statement released Monday. They were instructed to carry out smaller missions on behalf the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ahead of a larger terror attack planned for New Year’s Eve, according to reports.
It was not clear if the al-Assads were related, the statement said.
Among the missions was visiting the campus of Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba to determine if they could bring in a suitcase full of explosives for a bomb attack. They also refused to carry out an attack at the central bus station in Beersheba because of the large number of Arab-Israelis and Muslims who use it.
The teens planned to join the Islamic State in the Sinai after the New Year’s Eve attack.
They were arrested on Dec. 18. Ahmad Abu Ramila, 24, of eastern Jerusalem, who was to marry Tasnin al-Assad, was arrested on Dec. 26. A gag order was placed on the cases until after the hearing on Monday.