Israel outlaws local Islamist group
July 26, 2011 share
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Israel has outlawed a Nazareth-based Islamist group inspired by Al-Qaeda, whose Israeli-Arab members carried out attacks on Jews and Christians, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
The group, known as Ansar Allah, was involved in the 2009 murder of a Jewish taxi driver "and confessed to serious acts of violence against Christians and Jews on religious grounds and from a belief in the path of jihad," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office said in a statement.
"It is an extremist Islamist group which holds a Salafi-Jihadist ideology based on the ideas of 'global jihad' groups, and foremost Al-Qaeda," it said.
The Jerusalem Post said that three Nazareth men charged last year with the murder of cab driver Yefim Weinstein were Ansar Allah members.
The Israeli Defense Ministry statement said members of the group also travelled abroad to the "battlefront of global jihad," an apparent reference to two other Israeli-Arabs arrested last year on their return from Kenya, after what police said was a failed attempt to join jihadi fighters in Somalia.
It was the arrest of those two which led to the exposure and arrest of a total of seven militants from Nazareth and a nearby village last May.
Nazareth, in the north, is the largest Arab city in Israel. It is the traditional childhood home of Jesus and, although today mostly Muslim, has a sizeable Christian minority.
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