Has the Caliphate Reached Israel?

With today’s charge against a Northern Galilee resident for supporting ISIS, the populace in Israel once again wonders if ISIS is here. The fact is they have been here for a while.  The problem with looking at ISIS as an organized terror force is that it leads experts in the wrong direction.

It took a while for investigators to piece together that the Sarona market shooting was indeed the work of ISIS affiliated terrorists. If rumors can be believed a sizeable population of Arabs in Judea and Samaria openly support ISIS.  This does not mean that the “caliphate” has set up shop in Israel’s Biblical Heartland, but it means that ISIS is providing inspiration to the Arab street in Israel.  Most Arabs, especially in pre-1967 Israel are against ISIS, but because of the nature of the Arab street in Judea and Samaria having lived under years of PA incitement, the leap to ISIS is easy to imagine.

Today’s charge against 29-year-old Wasim Ahmed Khutaba of the Nazareth-area village of Reineh should be no surprise. The challenge now is finding a strategy that will prevent ISIS inspired terrorism like what happened in the Sarona market and the murders of Hallel Ariel, and Rabbi Michael Mark.

The battle to stay ahead of ISIS will only get harder as the terror group will likely change tactics after an Israeli firm was able to hack an ISIS Telegram group, where attacks were planned out.  According to the report on channel 10, only 500 members worldwide belonged to this secret group.

On one hand, hacking into the group is a great win for Israel, but prematurely revealing the hack may have compromised a long-term tactical breakthrough.