The Israeli Foreign Ministry and Interpol Israel apparently succeeded in stopping an Israeli from joining ISIS, after his family informed authorities of the situation. The man, aged 21, was arrested with the assistance of the Turkish government.
On Thursday, the man's family contacted the Foreign Ministry and said that he had flown to Crete in order to reach Syria. Based on e-mail messages from the man, the family had reason to believe that he intended to join ISIS forces in Syria.
Despite his age, the man's family were registered as his legal guardians, raising the possibility he may not be mentally stable.
The man flew from Crete to Izmir in Turkey, and from there to Adana. He then continued by road to Iskenderun, a city near the Syrian border.
The Turkish government instructed local police to find him and they did so, handing him over to his relatives, who arrived at Iskenderun for that purpose. The man returned Tuesday to Israel with his family.
Foreign Ministry official Ilana Ravid said that the case is “complex and worrisome, but thanks to the diplomatic work of Israeli representatives in Turkey, and the goodwill of the Turkish authorities, the story had a good ending.”
The coordinated effort between Israeli and Turkish authorities comes as Jerusalem and Ankara are reportedly working to repair relations badly damaged over the past several years.