Israel Jails Arab Citizen Ahmed Shurbaji Who Fought For ISIS

JERUSALEM - An Israeli court handed a relatively light prison sentence Monday to an Arab citizen who spent three months fighting with ISIS in Syria before quitting the group and returning home to face prosecution. Ahmed Shurbaji is the first Israeli convicted for ties to ISIS, which has drawn foreign Muslim volunteers as it seized swathes of Syria and Iraq this year. Several Israeli Arabs have been tried for joining other Syrian insurgent groups.

Haifa District Court sentenced Shurbaji to 22 months in jail, including time served since his arrest in April after he flew back to Israel via Turkey. It ruled that his training in various arms and combat experience made him a security threat but noted that the 23-year-old had no criminal record and, while in Syria, had contacted an Israeli security official to voice regret and ask to return. Arabs, the majority of them Muslim, make up around a fifth of Israel's population. Israeli security officials say a few dozen Arab citizens have left to fight in Syria.


- Reuters