Israeli officials have arrested six men -- four of them teachers -- in the Bedouin village of Houra for supporting the Islamic State group. Ofir Gendelman, the Israeli prime minister's Arabic-media spokesman, tweeted the news Monday, adding that a few of the men had planned to go to Syria to join ISIS.
The Israel Security Agency arrested teachers Bashir Jabran Salim abu Alkyan, 26; Akram Al'ab Ahmed abu Alkyan, 30; Muhammad Al'ab Ahmed abu Alkyan, 27; and Hamza Abed Ali Alkyan, 27; the Jerusalem Post reported. Also taken into custody were Khader Hassan abu Alkyan, 27, and Sharif Shahada Rezek abu Alkyan, 23, whose professions were not specified.
They were charged with a variety of offenses, including supporting a terrorist organization, illegally leaving Israel and conspiring to commit a crime. The men held secret meetings where they talked about ISIS and religion, and teachers used their positions to spread the extremist ideas to their students, Arutz Sheva reported. Authorities alleged the teachers played ISIS songs for children and had them draw ISIS maps.
An investigation into how many other school staff members knew about their radicalization was ongoing. The principal reportedly told police he wasn't aware of the suspects' activities.
In the meantime, the instructors will lose their teaching licenses, Education Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters. "Terrorists will not be teachers," he said. "We will take a tough stance towards teachers who used their role in a despicable way and instead of protecting their students, harmed them. We have zero tolerance towards those who harm our country. We will keep the Education Ministry clean and not allow anyone to pollute our children."
The teachers aren't the first Israelis to be recruited by ISIS, which is known for its online presence. At least six young men have died fighting for the group in Syria, and three others were indicted in December for creating a terror cell in West Bank.