An Arab-Israeli from northern Israel was arrested Tuesday after sending an SMS to his father informing him he was going to carry out a terrorist attack – prompting his father to turn to police.
The father, who lives in a village close to Nazareth in the Galilee, alerted the police emergency hotline as soon as he received the message, which read: “Today you will hear good things about me – I’m going to carry out an attack.”
Other family members received the same message, according to Israel’s Channel 2, which released a transcript of the father’s frantic conversations with the police call center, during which he repeatedly urged them to send a patrol car to his home.
Father: Can I order a patrol car to my house?
Operator: Why, what happened?
Father: There is an important issue
Operator: What kind of important issue?
Father: An important issue. My son has been away from home for nearly 10 days and he is threatening people and (threatening) the security of the state
Operator: Your son is threatening state security?! Does your son want to do something?!
Father: Yes, yes. He has someone else from our village
Operator: You don’t know where he is?
Father: If I knew, I’d conduct an operation against him myself
In a second operation the increasingly agitated father asks how long it will take for police to arrive.
Father: I don’t feel good. Send me a patrol car. Just in how many minutes? Tell me how many minutes!
Operator: I don’t know how many minutes (it will take). I have sent a patrol car to you
Nazareth District Commander, Chief Superintendent Shai Dichter, said police acted as soon as possible to locate and arrest the suspect, and opened an investigation immediately after receiving the father’s report.
“We carried out many activities to locate the youth, including the arrest of five suspects including him. After interrogation an indictment was served against the suspect.”
It is not the first time a would-be terrorist has been handed over to police by concerned family members after being radicalized.
Last month, a 19-year-old Arab woman, also from northern Israel, was placed in administrative detention, after police determined she posed a real risk to the public following messages she sent to her family expressing her desire to become a “martyr.”
Israeli authorities have blamed the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement – which is based in the Galilee – for inciting much of the violence. Last week, after much posturing, the Hamas-linked Muslim extremist group was finally banned.