In a joint operation with local police, the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) arrested six Arab residents of the town of Hura in the Negev who formed a cell of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, authorities released for publication Monday.
An initial investigation revealed that the cell members conducted secret meetings in which they learned and discussed ISIS's radical Islamist ideology, while some of them actively worked to recruit friends and family members and encouraged them to travel to join ISIS in Syria.
Shockingly, four of those arrested were teachers at a school in the Negev. Investigators say they used their position to try to brainwash children and encourage them to join ISIS as well.
In addition to those arrested, several other teachers and staff members – including the headteacher of one Negev school – have been questioned under suspicion of withholding knowledge of their colleagues' jihadist activities from authorities, and not acting to stop them.
The headteacher – who has not been named – denies having any knowledge of the extremist activity at his school.
Security services believe that several Israeli Arabs who previously traveled to Syria to join ISIS were part of the same cell.
More details to follow.