Belarusian immigrant to Israel converted to Islam charged with trying to join ISIS

A Belarusian immigrant to Israel and convert to Islam was indicted on Wednesday for having attempted to join ISIS.

The 39-year-old Valentin Mazalevsky, a resident of the village of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam north of Afula, immigrated to Israel in 1996 and converted to Islam in 2000 during his military service, the Shin Bet announced in a press release. He purchased a one-way ticket to Turkey and intended to cross the border from there to Syria, where he intended to join ISIS.

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The indictment accuses him of contact with a foreign agent, attempting to illegally travel to an enemy state and obstruction of justice. It claims that he had been in contact with ISIS agents.

In January, Mazalevsky sent a message to a group used by Russian-speaking ISIS supporters and terrorists on the secure-messaging app Telegram. The terrorist wrote that he wanted to join the organization. He was instructed to travel to Turkey and contact the group again to organize his passage into Syria.

Mazalevsky had his ticket purchased for him by an ISIS terrorist. On January 16, Mazalevsky was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport. He was there prevented from leaving the country and interrogated by security agencies.

The state prosecutor’s office has asked the court to extend the terrorist’s remand until the completion of the legal proceedings against him.

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