An Israeli Bedouin elementary school teacher was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday after the Beersheba District Court convicted him of supporting the Islamic State terror group and encouraging his students to join its forces in Iraq and Syria.
Muhammad Abu al-Kian, 28, from the southern Bedouin town of Hura, struck a plea bargain with the Israeli Southern District Attorney’s Office in which he pled guilty to supporting an illegal organization and conspiracy to commit a crime.
According to the indictment, apart from his role as a teacher, al-Kian also served as a preacher at a local mosque. He would head secret meetings attended by local youths and introduce them to Islamic State’s radical religious indoctrination. He planned to form an Islamic State cell and travel to Syria, to join the jihadi group’s forces.
The court accepted the plea bargain, saying that al-Kian, who has no previous criminal record, expressed remorse for his actions. The judge did, however, note that al-Kian “abused his position as an educator to deliver speeches in the mosque to convince them [worshippers] to join the organization.”