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Israel charges Belarus-born convert to Islam with IS ties

JERUSALEM: Israeli prosecutors filed charges on Wednesday against a Belarus-born immigrant after accusing him of seeking to join the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, security and justice sources said.

Valentin Mazlevski, 39, who immigrated to Israel in 1996, is the first Jewish-born Israeli to be charged for having IS ties, according to the Shin Bet domestic security service.

He was arrested in February.

In 2000, while performing compulsory service in the Israeli military, Mazlevski converted to Islam after meeting the Israeli Arab Muslim woman who would become his wife and mother of his five children.

According to the charge sheet, Mazlevski had recently become interested in IS and frequently viewed its online content.

He is accused of joining IS internet forums, and in July 2016 Israeli security forces warned him against taking part in IS activities.

He was charged at the Nazareth District Court with being in contact with IS, attempting to travel to an enemy state, and obstruction of justice.

 

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