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7 Nazareth residents indicted for attacks aginst Jews, Christians

By CNN's Guy Azriel
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The men were arrested six weeks ago
  • Charged include the 2009 murder of a Jewish taxi driver
  • Gag order lifted

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israeli police and general security services announced Monday the arrest of seven Nazareth residents in connection with a string of attacks against Jewish and Christian targets, including the murder of a Jewish taxi driver in 2009.

The men, who were arrested six weeks ago, were indicted Monday; the announcement came after a gag order on the case was lifted.

Three of the suspects face charges in the November 2009 murder of Yafim Weinstein, a 54-year-old taxi driver from Nazareth who was shot three times and was left to bleed to death in his car, the indictment said.

In a second case, four suspects are charged with the armed robbery and kidnapping of a Jewish pizza man in October 2008. The victim was beaten, stabbed, tied up and left in a grove, the indictment said.

Other charges against the men include planning to murder a Christian man who, they said, had "cursed" the prophet Mohammed, attacking a Christian business with Molotov cocktails, possessing illegal weapons and making illegal weapons deals, burning two tourist buses in Nazareth and stabbing two Christian men in Nazareth.

According to the indictment, the suspects targeted non-Muslims on behalf of global jihad. Two suspects accused of attempting to join a terrorist network with links to al Qaeda were arrested after attempting to reach Somalia to fight the "heretics" and the American forces stationed there.