There were a few warning signs Israeli Arab and Be’er Sheva attack terrorist Muhaned Al-Okabi was planning a terror attack, a former co-worker revealed Monday.
“He said that ISIS would one day come and I would see them here,” Yoni, who worked with Al-Okabi for six months at a major logistics company in central Israel, stated to Channel 2. “He supported the religious ideology of ISIS but he never said ‘I’ll kill’. He never used such words.”
“God interested him, he was a great believer and prayed a lot,” he added. “I think he was a religious extremist.”
“I read there was a call by ISIS’s representative in East Jerusalem, perhaps that touched him.”
Despite this, Al-Okabi allegedly was “against terror attacks,” Yoni said, noting that the two worked together during Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014. “He used to talk to me about Israelis killed [in the war] and how it was not OK and how there should be peace.”
He also described him personally as “the most smiley person, he always said hello.”
On Sunday night, one person was killed in the attack and nine others wounded – several seriously – when Al-Okabi shot a soldier, grabbed his automatic weapon and opened fire on a group of police standing in the station. He was later shot dead by security forces.
Israel’s reunification policy has been blamed for the attack. Al-Okabi’s mother hails from Gaza, but she was allowed into sovereign Israeli territory after marrying an Arab citizen of Israel as part of the family reunification policy.
Police later arrested one of his family members overnight, who is suspected of having aided him in planning and carrying out his attack.
Further details of the case are currently under gag order.