Shin Bet arrests two Bedouin women planning ISIS attack

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Israel’s Shin Bet security service arrested two Bedouin women on suspicion of being in contact with ISIS terrorists abroad and planning attacks inside Israel.

The arrests of the two Israeli citizens, which took place last month, were revealed yesterday when the State Attorney’s Office indicted them in Beer Sheva. The pair were named as Rahma Al-Assad and Tasnin Al-Assad, both 1 years old and residents of Lakiya in the Negev. They pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The women were suspected of planning to carry out an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack on New Year’s Eve in Israel. The Shin Bet said that “it became clear that over the course of last year, the two sought to carry out a terrorist attack against Jews inside the State of Israel and – to this end – considered various options”.

They had also planned to join the ISIS affiliate in the Sinai. The security service said that they “were also in contact with Islamic State terrorists abroad, were instructed by some of them to carry out preparatory missions ahead of the projected attack. It was also learned that the two planned to travel overseas in order to join Islamic State as fighters and had published content praising Islamic State and inciting terrorism against Jews and Israel”.

The women had previously assessed several possible targets in the southern city of Beer Sheva, including Ben Gurion University and the central bus station. However, they concluded that security at the university was too tight to allow them to bring in a bomb in a suitcase and that there were too many Muslims who might get hurt in an explosion at the bus station. A third person, Ahmad Abu Ramila, 24, a resident of East Jerusalem, was also arrested and indicted as an accessory in the case.