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Israeli Arab couple from Galilee charged with joining ISIS in Iraq

Thursday, October 20, 2016 4:28
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DEBKAfile was founded by a team of journalists in June 2000 as an independent Internet Web site, providing an intelligence and security news service. October 20, 2016, 2:11 PM (IDT)

An indictment filed Thursday at a Haifa district court revealed that an Israeli Arab couple from the Galilee, parents of three small children, were arrested on September 22 at Ben Gurion airport upon their return from Turkey and are now charged with joining Islamic State in Iraq. Before reaching the war-torn country, the two residents of the town of Sakhnin, accompanied by their children aged three, six and eight, travelled to a family event in Romania and from there, with the help of an Israeli Arab resident of Umm al-Fahm who is active in a terrorist organization, flew to Turkey and crossed the border into Syria. The husband, 41-year-old Visam Zabidat, underwent military training and fought alongside ISIS forces against the Iraqi army, while his 31-year-old wife, Sabrin, worked in a local hospital. The family fled from Iraq to Syria after Visam was wounded and then snuck into Turkey, where they were arrested by the local police and extradited to Israel. The couple face charges including contact with a foreign agent, membership in a banned organization, and participation in banned military training.   

Our unique angle on these subjects – and strong intelligence dimension – has earned DEBKAfile a global reputation and a steady readership – which skyrockets in times of crisis.

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