Al Qaeda Rep.: ‘Islam Is Coming’
During a radio interview Sunday, a representative of al Qaeda in the Gaza Strip sent a message to the United States: “Islam is coming and there is no other choice.”
That sentiment was expressed by Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadiya Salafiya in the Gaza Strip, speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio. Jihadiya Salafiya represents al Qaeda in the Gaza Strip.
Saqer further stated that after battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the thousands of foreign jihadists currently in Syria could turn their ire on what he called the many other “enemies of Islam,” including Israel and the United States.
“[W]e think Islam will come and this is something that no one can prevent,” he said.
“And we will raise the Islamic flag on every point on earth where Muslims live and we will chase all the enemies of Islam wherever they are. Even in the West, in Europe and in the United States.”
Asked where he thinks the thousands of foreign jihadists fighting Assad will go next, Saqer replied, “After finishing with him, there are many enemies for Islam.”
He continued: “At the head the Zionist enemy and the United States. And the evolution on the ground in Syria will define where is the next target and who is the next target of the Mujahadeen….This can be the Israeli enemy. This can be the United States or anybody who is making a conspiracy with them against Islam.”
U.S.-Armed Syrian Rebels Pose Threat To U.S.
At least 6,000 jihadist rebels in Syria, many affiliated with al Qaeda, now pose a major security risk to the United States and Europe, according to Obama administration officials and Mideast experts.
But most of the news coverage of the emerging threat fails to mention U.S. and Western support, including weapons transfers, to the Syrian rebels. Al Qaeda-linked groups reportedly are prominent among the rebel ranks.
On Tuesday, Michael Morell, the Central Intelligence Agency’s second-in-command, warned in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that al Qaeda groups in Syria, along with the civil war itself, pose the greatest threat to U.S. national security.
Meanwhile, according to UPI, Matthew G. Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, stated on the Syria jihad threat: “The concern going forward from a threat perspective is there are individuals traveling to Syria, becoming further radicalized, becoming trained and then returning as part of really a global jihadist movement to Western Europe and, potentially, to the United States.”
Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union’s counterterrorism coordinator, told the same conference, “The scale of this is completely different from what we’ve experienced in the past.”
Unmentioned by CIA official Morell or the major news media reporting on the Syrian rebel threat is that the U.S. and Western countries have supplied vast sums of weapons to the Syrian rebels.
Intervention In Libya A Mistake?
Did the fall of Moammar Khaddafi’s regime, aided by U.S.-NATO airstrikes, contribute to the proliferation of anti-aircraft weapons now in the hands of al Qaeda?
Militants in Yemen reportedly shot down an army helicopter last week flying over the al Qaeda stronghold of Wadi Ubida, killing all eight people on board, including a military commander. Al Qaeda’s possible accumulation of anti-aircraft weapons likely was bolstered by its efforts in Libya after the fall of Khaddafi’s regime.
In a largely unnoticed speech to a think tank seven months before the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack, a top State Department official described an unprecedented multi-million-dollar U.S. effort to secure anti-aircraft weapons in Libya following the American-aided war there.
The official, Andrew J. Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, explained that U.S. experts were fully coordinating the collection efforts with the Libyan opposition.
He said the efforts were taking place in Benghazi, where a leading U.S. expert was deployed.
Shapiro conceded that the Western-backed rebels did not want to give up the weapons, particularly Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems, or MANPADS, which were the focus of the weapons collection efforts.
Many rebel forces openly included jihadists from al Qaeda organizations.
In April, the United Nations released a report revealing that weapons, including MANPADs, from Libya to extremists were proliferating at an “alarming rate,” fueling conflicts in Mali, Syria, Gaza and elsewhere.
Arms Trafficking ‘Nothing To Do’ With Lack Of Security In Benghazi, Says Congressman
Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, claimed in a radio interview that any involvement by the attacked U.S. facility in Benghazi in arms trafficking “would have absolutely nothing to do with” the lack of adequate security at the compound where Ambassador Christopher Stevens was murdered.
Issa made the statement to radio host Hugh Hewitt after repeatedly deflecting questions about the alleged arms smuggling to al Qaeda-linked Mideast rebels based at the Benghazi compound.
While Issa insisted that the alleged use of the Benghazi facility for coordinating arms shipments and other aid to the rebels is irrelevant, this journalist was first to report in October 2012 that it may help explain why there was no major public security presence at what has been wrongly described as a “consulate.”
Such a presence would have drawn attention to the shabby, nondescript building.
The compound’s alleged use for secret activities may also explain why it was established without the permission of the Libyan transitional government.
The 39-page State Department Accountability Review Board, or ARB, report on the Benghazi attack itself documented that the facility was set up without the knowledge of the new Libyan government.