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September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘attacks’

Hamas Fighter Confesses Details on Tunnels, Attack Plans

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

A Hamas fighter captured by Israel early in July has revealed a wealth of information about the terror group’s plans to attack civilians and soldiers in the Jewish State.

The arrest of Ibrahim Adel Shehadeh Sha’er, 21 was only cleared for release early Tuesday afternoon, however, after weeks of questioning.

Sha’er was captured in a joint operation by Israel Police and operatives from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), according to a release sent to Hebrew-language media.

A resident of Rafah, Sha’er revealed a great deal of information to his investigators, including details about Hamas emergency procedures.

Hamas has rebuilt much of its terrorist infrastructure since the end of last year’s Operation Protective Edge war in the region, he said, including its tunnel network.

Sha’er provided specific locations and routes of the tunnels, as well as digging sites in Rafah where tunnels start – including one that he said led to the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Israel.

He also shared details about the purpose of the new road built by Hamas along the security fence. Shin Bet was able to confirm, for instance, that the road was intended for use in a surprise attack on Israel that was to involve vehicles that were to have crossed the border.

A Hamas operative, Sha’er personally was involved in many different aspects of terrorist training that included combat, command, use of advanced weapons and explosives.

During the war he served in a logistics and support company that transported military equipment and explosives to fighters in the field. Sha’er was also directly involved in combat zones, planting anti-tank mines and carrying out observation in the field.

According to the report, Sha’er was also privy to information discussed by many Hamas senior officials. He revealed many details about the relationship between Hamas and Iran, who he said sent generous military aid to Gaza to strengthen the terror organization.

Iran has been sending money, advanced weaponry and electronic equipment to Gaza, including devices used to disrupt radio frequencies and help bring down Israeli reconnaissance drones flying above the enclave. Sha’er also claimed that Iran had trained Hamas operatives in how to fly para-gliders, with the hopes of using the novel equipment to infiltrate across Israel’s border.

The Hamas prisoner also provided information about the formation of elite units in the terrorist group, and their anti-tank, anti-aircraft and observation capabilities.

At present, he said, Hamas can view and film Israeli territory at a distance of three kilometers (approximately two miles) in from the border.

Sha’er provided more details about the changes in military strategy, logistics and unit formations since last summer’s war as well.

He told his interrogators that Hamas has indeed been confiscating materials for manufacture of weapons that are being permitted by Israel into the enclave – due to international pressure – for reconstruction of civilian homes and other infrastructure.

Civilians are once again being endangered, Sha’er said, as Hamas routinely stores explosives in residential structures – as it did prior to last summer’s war – in anticipation of air strikes by Israel on separate weapons storage sites.

An indictment against Sha’er was filed with the Be’er Sheva District Court on July 31, accusing the Hamas operative of membership and activity in an outlawed association, attempted murder, contact with a foreign agent, forbidden military training and additional various weapons offenses.

Jerusalem Police Nab 7 Local Arabs in Attacks on Jews in Armon HaNatziv

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Cleared for publication: Detectives at the Jerusalem District Police Central Unit have arrested seven suspects, all residents of Abu Tor, including three minors, in connecction with attacks on Jews in the area of the Armon HaNatziv promenade in East Talpiot.

Two couples and a Jewish youth who were walking in the area of the promenade were attacked in three separate incidents. Another Jewish youth who was jogging on the promenade itself was also attacked.

In each case, there were a number of attackers, and the victims were seriously injured.

Jerusalem District Commander Nitzav Moshe (Chico) Edri assigned the investigation to the central unit, with parallel investigations taking place in the intelligence and undercover units as well.

“These were serious attacks against civilians who wanted nothing more than to be able to stroll outside and enjoy the air,” Edri said in a statement.

“The professionalism of the central unit and determination of the Jerusalem Special Operations forces and Border Guard Police led to the prompt arrest of the suspects,” he added, praising his investigators for a job well done.

“We will continue to operation in an uncompromising manner against any attempt to disturb the public safety and peace, and we will operate to bring all the perpetrators to justice.”

Intensive Rocket Fire Aimed at Israel’s Border Towns

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Intensive rocket fire and shelling attacks by Hamas and allied terrorists continued to be aimed at Israel’s Gaza border towns and the nearby coastal city of Ashkelon throughout the day on Monday.

It is not clear why Gaza terrorists are focusing so intently on the Sha’ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev and Eshkol Regional Council districts.

The terrorists seem particularly focused on Kibbutzim Alumim and Nahal Oz, where a 4-year-old child was killed in one such attack last Friday.

Most of the residents of the targeted areas have temporarily evacuated in order to more efficiently facilitate defense of the area by the IDF.

2 Israelis Wounded in Grad Missile Attack on Be’er Sheva

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

A 70-year-old man and his wife paid the price for age and the lack of shelter within immediate reach on Saturday night when they had to make a run for it in a Grad missile attack on Be’er Sheva from Gaza.

Two Grad missiles exploded on an apartment building in a residential neighborhood in the Negev city as the older couple was rushing to reach a shelter, having heard the Code Red incoming rocket alert siren.

But they weren’t quite fast enough, and the missiles hit the building before the couple was able to reach shelter.

They were both hit by flying shrapnel in the explosion. Magen David Adom medics treated them on the scene and then evacuated the couple to nearby Soroka Medical Center, both with light wounds, and listed at present in good condition.

Nine other people suffered trauma symptoms; numerous others suffered with anxiety.

According to a tweet posted by Israel Hatzolah on the Twitter social networking site, the third Grad missile landed directly on a car, and not in an open area as reported by some media.

Car hit by Grad missile in Be'er Sheva, August 23, 2014.

Car hit by Grad missile in Be’er Sheva, August 23, 2014.

Much further north, a Katyusha rocket was launched at Israel from southern Lebanon at about the same time. The rocket slammed into an empty home in a community in the Upper Galilee. Two five-year-old children were injured in the attack; both were taken to hospital with shrapnel wounds.

Eight others were also taken to hospital to be treated for shock. Another 13 people were treated on site for anxiety and trauma, according to local security personnel.

It is not yet clear which terrorist organization was responsible for the attack, but Lebanese authorities have tracked the source of the rocket fire to the town of Dheira, in southern Lebanon.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system intercepted one missile over Gush Dan in the central region, two missiles over the Shfela region — also in central Israel — and two Qassam rockets that were headed straight for Sderot, barely a mile away from Gaza.

More than 100 missiles and rockets were fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza over the past 24 hours, striking communities from as far south as the Gaza Belt to the greater Jerusalem and Tel Aviv areas.

IDF Retaliation: 3 Dead Terrorists in Gaza

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

At least three terrorists are dead and approximately 9 others were injured in a targeted assassination by the Israeli Air Force in Gaza.

A missile pulverized the car in which the terrorists were traveling in the a-Nasser neighborhood of Gaza City. The Saturday night air strike followed a 24 hour period in which nearly 100 rockets and missiles were fired at Israeli civilians.

In a second air strike, a 12-story building in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood collapsed, sending a cloud of black smoke and flames spiraling into the sky.

Residents of the building were warned to leave the building, which served as a base for Hamas operations, prior to the attack. IAF pilots fired a warning dud at the roof of the 48-unit building before the strike, reminding occupants to leave, according to police.

Two missiles blew up the building about five minutes later, which collapsed under the explosion.

Despite the warnings, at least 10 people were wounded according to local sources, including four children.

Over the course of the day, the IDF said it bombed some 60 terrorist targets throughout Gaza. Among those eliminated were concealed rocket launchers, weapons caches and terrorist operations facilities.

Terrorists rained rockets and missiles of varying ranges across the Israel throughout the day and into the night on Saturday. At around 10:30 pm, a missile reached as far north as Acco. No one was physically injured and no property damage was reported.

On Friday, a 4-year-old boy died when he didn’t make it to shelter in time to avoid mortar shelling by Gaza terrorists aimed at the Israeli border town of Nahal Oz.

Iron Dome Intercepts Barrage Over Negev, Coast

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The Iron Dome anti-missile system was hard at work midday Thursday, intercepting missiles fired almost without stop by terrorists in Gaza.

Since midnight, at least 16 missiles have been shot down by the Iron Dome.

Shortly after 2 pm, a barrage of Grad Katyusha missiles were fired at the Negev city of Be’er Sheva. At least three of the missiles headed straight for the city, in two separate attacks. All three were intercepted by the Iron Dome.

A barrage of at least 20 rockets and missiles was fired at southern and central Israel around midday Thursday. The Hamas terrorist organization took responsibility for the attack.

Most of the missiles targeted the coastal cities of Israel, exploding over the port cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon.

The Iron Dome system intercepted three missiles above Ashdod, two more above Ashkelon and another two above the Gush Dan region — all headed directly for high population areas.

Al Qaeda Quickly Constructing Main Mideast Base in Syria

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

Al Qaeda is quickly constructing its main regional Middle East base in Syria, from where it plans to export terrorism and Islamic radicalism to neighboring states, then to the West, a new report released by an Israeli security research institute warned.

The jihadis later aspire, according to the report, to turn “Greater Syria” — an old geographic term encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories — into an Islamic caliphate.

The exhaustive study took a year to compile, according to researchers at the Tel Aviv-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which released it.

The Center itself is a part of the Israeli Intelligence and Heritage Commemoration Center, founded in the 1980s by leading members of the Israeli intelligence community.

The report identified the Al Nusra Front as Al Qaeda’s official arm in Syria; they added that the organization is quickly entrenching itself in the north and east of Syria, where the Assad regime’s rule has collapsed.

According to Dr. Reuven Erlich, the head of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the Al Nusra Front is entrenching itself in Syria at a rate several times faster than the time it took Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to become a serious international terrorist presence.

Erlich, who served in several posts in IDF Military Intelligence, also cautioned that Syria’s location in the heart of the Middle East, its proximity to Europe, and its border with Israel mean that geopolitically, the jihadi threat from Syria is more central than the one from Afghanistan or Pakistan.

He compared Al Nusra’s activities in Syria today to the incubation period of a virus, before it begins spreading and infecting other hosts. Later, Erlich warned, the plague of jihad will spread outwards from Syria to the region, then go on to threaten global security.

The researchers who composed the report assessed the chances of Al Nusra realizing its goal of building a caliphate as low, due to Syria’s diverse sectarian, ethnic, and religious population, and strong tradition of secular Arab nationalism.

Nevertheless, they said, the group is on course to become one of the most prominent rebel entities, and will play a key role in shaping a post-Assad Syria, while using its growing presence as a springboard to launch international terrorist attacks.

At the moment, Al Nusra’s most urgent goal is toppling President Assad; its members are therefore not yet focusing on enforcing Shari’a law in Syria. They show a pragmatic willingness to work with other rebel organizations, including the main Free Syrian Army. But once the Assad regime falls, a violent campaign by jihadis might begin to cement their control over any new government formed by rebels in Damascus.

A second jihadi organization operates in Syria, the researchers said, called the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, formed by Al-Qaeda in Iraq, though Al Nusra is the only one to have received official recognition by Al Qaeda’s central leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, in June this year.

“The two branches together have an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 operatives in our assessment, and the number is growing,” the report stated.

Erlich said the influence of the group is out of proportion to its numbers, due its operational capabilities and influence on the population.

The Al Nusra Front is led Abu Muhammad al-Julani, who possibly hails from the Syrian Golan, and rules over a network of fighters and local subordinates in Syria’s districts.

He is a veteran of jihadist battles against US forces in Iraq, and a former follower of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who set up Al Qaeda in Iraq in the previous decade.

Rank and file members of the group are a mix of Syrians and foreign volunteers from the Arab and Muslim world, the report said, adding that foreign volunteers number in the thousands. Additionally, between 500 and 600 European Muslim volunteers are in the organization, mainly hailing from the UK and France. They are expected, after returning from the battlefields, to spread jihad in their home countries, the report said.

The Al Nusra Front’s most senior body is called the Consulting Council of Jihad Fighters. Its leadership is made up of staff dealing with military operations, fundraising, weapons acquisitions and smuggling, religious affairs and public relations. Fighting units are usually called battalions or companies.

The report mapped out the Al Nusra Front’s presence in Syria, noting that it was strongest in the north and east, where the Assad regime has collapsed. In these areas, called “liberated zones” by the jihadis, Al Nusra and affiliated groups provide public services, maintain health, legal, and policing systems, and distribute food, clothing and blankets.

In some places, residents have complained about a strict code of Shari’a-based conduct being enforced.

According to the report, the group is weakest on the Mediterranean coast, where the minority Alawite population — of which the ruling Assad regime is mostly composed — is located.

Most of Al Nusra’s attacks are focused on greater Damascus and on northern and eastern Syria, in places such as Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Idlib and Deir al-Zor. Its actions are guerrilla-terrorist campaigns against the regime’s bases, facilities and individuals.

Tactics include suicide car bombings, roadside bombs, suicide bombers on foot, and firing on bases and airfields with light arms and mortars. Security checkpoints are a frequent target.

“Suicide bombings are a signature brand” of Al Nusra and are operationally effective, but have resulted in negative public relations among other Syrian rebels, said the report.

The Al Nusra Front plans to attack Israel from the Syrian Golan, according to an assessment that appeared in the report. It “can be expected to establish an operative terrorist infrastructure in the Golan Heights, a continuation of military infrastructure it is currently constructing in Deraa,” the southwestern city where the anti-Assad uprising began in 2011.

“In our assessment, Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist organizations may integrate themselves into terrorist attacks from the Golan Heights despite the fundamental ideological differences between them,” it added.

Al Nusra can also be expected to link up with fellow jihadis who follow Al Qaeda’s ideology in neighboring Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Gaza Strip.

Pro-Western Arab states are on the target list too, the report said, adding that Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, all of which support the rebels, might be targeted by Al Nusra in the form of subversive, radical Islamists entering them and setting up terrorist cells.

In northern Syria, Al Nusra and its allies have seized key national resources such as oil and gas fields, oil pipelines, dams, power plants and grain silos.

These sites are now operated by jihadis, who sometimes sell oil and gas to the Assad regime for profit, enabling the organization to pay its operatives a monthly salary, purchase more weapons, and run assistance programs in “liberated areas.”

As Al Nusra fighters raid Syrian weapons depots, the fear remains, the report stated, that “in the absence of the considerations of restraint that influence other terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorist organizations,” they could obtain chemical and biological weapons, and use them in terrorist attacks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/al-qaeda-quickly-constructing-main-mideast-base-in-syria/2013/10/01/

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