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Posts Tagged ‘attacks’

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.

Obama Tosses Syrian Hot Potato into Republicans’ Laps

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Originally published at The American Thinker.

Since first being elected, President Obama has made much of his determination to “go it alone” when he can’t get his way from Congress. This has resulted in an endless chain of unprecedented, unconstitutional and illegal actions to advance his self-serving political agenda. At every turn, Obama has sought to make Congress irrelevant. Unfortunately the gutless GOP political leadership aided and abetted him, at the very least by doing nothing, and sometimes even colluding in his efforts. Marco Rubio’s disgraceful illegal alien “reform” plan comes immediately to mind, but so do the countless “showdowns” with the President, in which Republicans have repeatedly blinked.

But either through sheer stupidity, or likely, some much more malevolent, calculated strategy, Obama has painted himself into an impossible corner by pronouncing a very specific “red line” that, if crossed by our enemies, promised military action. So now when forced by his own words to deliver the goods, what does he do? Something he has never done before: he decides to “consult” Congress.

What cheek!

Do you see what has happened here? By giving the issue to Congress, he evades sole responsibility and makes himself look “principled” for pretending to follow the Constitution by acknowledging Congress’s responsibility to “declare war” — never mind that the contemplated actions don’t rise to the level of a war declaration. Because our national media conspires with Obama on a daily basis, no matter what Congress decides, Republicans will take the blame, and you can be sure it will be used as a 2014 campaign issue against them. Finally, this whole controversy has taken the country’s mind off Obama’s many politically damaging scandals.

Obama has demonstrated repeatedly just how reckless his foreign policy is. Early on, he announced his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2014, while simultaneously dramatically tightening our military rules of engagement. Telegraphing our intentions to the Taliban while tying our war fighters’ hands had a predictable result. The Taliban dramatically increased its terrorism, use of IED’s, and “insider attacks” by Afghan soldiers, making our continued presence that much more unpalatable and demoralizing, while creating mounting pressure to abandon what has become a completely futile effort under this administration .

U.S. casualties in Afghanistan under President Obama have skyrocketed: 1,639 killed during Obama’s four-and-a-half years versus 630 in the eight years under George W. Bush. Coalition IED deaths have topped 1,068 during the Obama years compared with 310 during Bush’s term. Between 2007 and March of 2013, there were a total of 92 U.S. personnel killed in insider attacks and another 132 wounded, according to a Pentagon report. Approximately 25 percent of these attacks are estimated to be from Taliban infiltrators. Most of the insider attacks have occurred since Obama took office.

For a sitting president to telegraph his specific war plans to the enemy, as Obama did, is insane; unless of course, his goal was to hobble our efforts. In that case, he has been wildly successful. His policies have effectively neutered anything we accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan and have guaranteed our ultimate failure – all the while racking up American war casualties. As a former U.S. Army Colonel and Afghanistan war veteran recently tweeted:

It’s like we gave control of American foreign policy to a pony-tailed gender studies seminar TA.

Obama should have already faced electoral defeat, impeachment, or even an investigation into possible treason for his travesties in Afghanistan and Libya, and would have if the media did its job. But the media has long since abandoned any shred of objectivity. Indeed, were Obama exposing himself daily on the White House lawn, the media would no doubt laud his courage in “challenging” us to broaden our minds and become more accepting of “alternative” behaviors.

With typically galling arrogance, Obama pronounced that Syria must not be allowed to get away with gassing 1,400 people, and “Mad Uncle Joe” Biden chimed in that there was “no doubt” the Syrians did it. But virtually all evidence points to the rebels. This was a deliberate false-flag operation conducted by the Islamic terrorists at the heart of the rebellion. By specifying explicitly what he would not tolerate, i.e. the use of chemical weapons, Obama virtually guaranteed that someone would find a way to use that to their advantage.

Low-Intensity Conflict Report #83 August 2013

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Shanna Tova.  May this be a year of unity of our people, protection of our Torah and Land and yishuv HaAretz. Amen

These reports are translated and publicized by Yehudit Tayar for Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron with the clearance and confirmation of the IDF.  Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron is a voluntary emergency medical organization with over 500 volunteer doctors, paramedics, medics who are on call 24/7 and work along with the IDF, 669 IAF Airborn Rescue, the security officers and personal throughout Yesha and the Jordan Valley, and with MDA.

We, the volunteers of Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron go out to rescue anyone who needs our emergency medical assistance; including civilians, military and Arabs also those within the PA territories (with IDF presence). To us a life is precious and we go out at risk leaving home and family or stopping on the road to rescue anyone in need.

This is a partial report based on the intelligence reports we received from the field.  It is important to emphasize that there were hundreds of attacks with rocks.

At least 13 civilians and 5 IDF soldiers and Border Policemen were injured from the violent rock attacks on the vehicles, cars and buses.

Civilians who were injured from rocks:

2 moderately injured at Abu Tor, near Ofra; 1 tourist and 2 Israeli Arabs were taken to Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem

1 moderately injured near Mevo Dotan

1 very lightly injured near Bet Umar

1 moderately injured woman in bus near the Kotel

1 moderate near Anata

Pregnant woman and her husband moderately injured from glass fragments between Revava and Yakir

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem: Security guard injured moderately in his face.

Near El Hadar : Israeli Arab moderately injured in his face

Security Forces injured from rock attacks:

Jenin: 2 IDF soldiers injured lightly

Bet Umar: IDF soldier lightly injured

Betunia: IDF soldier from Artillery Unit lightly injured taken to Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem

Bil’in: IDF soldier from Engineering Force lightly injured, given medical assistance on the spot

Jalezoun Refugee Camp: Border policeman lightly injured in his hand

2 injured moderately and 1 lightly injured from Arab violence

Azune:  Driver from Rosh Ha’ayin beaten and injured very lightly and his vehicle was robbed

Taxi driver was run over and moderately injured during robbery of vehicle.  The robbers and vehicle were caught in Hawawara

Moderate wounded from stabbing on Stern Street, Jerusalem.  The injured claims that the Arab attacked him at random.  Police investigating the attack.

Lebanon: 4 IDF soldiers from Egoz Unit injured lightly to moderately from explosive device

Explosive Devices:

At least 25 attempted murders of Jews by throwing explosive devices

An explosive device was discovered a El Bira and detonated by a bomb squad

Abu Dis: 13 devices

Kever Rachel: 2 devices

Azoria: 1 device

Jenin: at least 8 devices

Jenin: large amounts of explosive devices and Molotov cocktails

Molotov Cocktails (fire bombs): at least 100 attempted murders of civilians and security forces by Molotov cocktails

Azune: 8

Hawawara: 2

El Arub: 26

El Hadar: 5

Turn by Spring Hevron: 2

Arab Tekoa : 1

Bet Umar: 2

Anabta: 5

Kochav Hashachar : 2

Near Negohot: 2

Abu Dis: 18

Hizam: 1

Between Migdalim and Tapuah: 2

Dir Abu MIshal : 3

Dir Niz’am: 2

Abud bypass: 3

Highway 443: 1

Tapuah Junction/ Yasof : 1

Policeman’s Square, Hevron : 3 and 1 towards Bet Hadassah checkpoint

As Karkar : 1

Qalandia: 3 – unknown number were thrown at IDF Force who were dispersing 1500 rioting Arabs

Damascas Gate: 2

French Hill :1

Molotov attacks that were prevented : Between Na’aleh and Postmans Junction: IDF chsed 3 terrorists carrying 3 fire bombs that were ready to be thrown on the road

Hebron : near Tel Romeda: 3 terrorists were caught carrying a knife and 2 molotov cocktails

At least 2 stabbing attacks and a murder were prevented, a number of suspects were arrested with knives in their possession:

Tekoa: terrorist caught with kitchen knife on him and admitted to planning a terror attack

Hawawara: 2 terrorists caught with knives and admitted to planning a terror attack to murdera resident of Yesha

Ein Ya’el Checkpost/Wala’ja: 12 year old Arab boy arrested and amongst his possessions a knife was found. He claimed that he was sent by 2 Arabs

Arab was caught possessing knife on the security fence of Betar

Near Herodian: resident of Bethlehem arrested after he threw a knife into the bushes released after investigation

Bekaot checkpost: Arab arrested and in his possession a 14 cm. knife

Tapuah Junction: Arab suspect with 10 cm. knife in his possession

Weapons caught by Security Forces:

Cross Shomron checkpost: 2 Arabs arrested with Karl Gustov rifle hidden in their car

Improvised rifle discovered in Arab car near Bet Dagan

Near Ofra: 3 Arabs caught with hunting rifle and knives

Ein Yabrod: pistol caught in Arab car

South: Explosive device thrown at jeep of Security Force near Sufa Crossing, and 1 rocket landed near a kibbutz in Eshkol Region

Rocket fired on Eilat shot down by “Iron Helmet”

Gaillee: 4 rockets downed by “Iron Helment” however there were hits at Ziv Bridge and Sheve Zion

8 Rockets hit in Ramat Hagolan near Keshet

Desecration of Jewish Holy Sites and Symbols :

Arabs tore out Mezuzot (prayers on doorposts) in the Cave of the Patriarchs

Swastika sprayed on Ancient Synagogue in Samua Village

Visit My Right Word .

Egypt Coptic Christian Leadership Condemns Western Media Coverage

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

In the face of an unprecedented wave of violence directed against Coptic Christians amid the turmoil in Egypt that has left hundred’s dead, the church’s leadership issued a statement condemning the Western media’s biased coverage of the events in Egypt.

“We strongly denounce the fallacies broadcasted by the Western media and invite them to review the facts objectively regarding these bloody radical organizations and their affiliates instead of legitimizing them with global support and political protection while they attempt to spread devastation and destruction in our dear land,” reads the statement, according to a Google translation.

“We request that the international and western media adhere to providing a comprehensive account of all events with truth, accuracy, and honesty,” the statement added.

The Coptic Church also reaffirmed its support for the military-backed government, calling on the army and security forces to continue their fight against the “armed violent groups and black terrorism.”

One of the oldest communities in Christianity, Coptic Christians have survived numerous persecutions in the past. But the recent violence is unprecedented. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an independent human rights organization, has documented 39 attacks against Coptic Christian churches, schools, monasteries and businesses since late last week, NPR reported.

Coptic Christians constituted a majority of Egypt’s population until the Middle Ages, when Islam, introduced by the Arab invasions in the 7th century, eclipsed their religion. Today, Coptic Christianity comprises nearly 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people, making it the largest single Christian community remaining in the Middle East.

As Egypt Nears Civil War, Israel on High Alert

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The dramatic escalation in Egypt’s domestic conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military is being accompanied by an upsurge in the activities of jihadi organizations in the Sinai Peninsula.

Since Morsi’s ouster, extremist Salafi and jihadi organizations have launched waves of attacks on Egyptian security forces, and provoked this week’s extensive counter-terrorism operation by the Egyptian army.

These Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces are also seeking to strike Israel — both to satisfy their ideological demand for jihad against Israelis, and to try and force Israel and Egypt into a confrontation, thereby undermining the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

The Israel Defense Forces are therefore on high alert in the event of further attacks by terrorists in Egypt, while also facing the dilemma of how to safeguard its own national security without infringing on Egyptian sovereignty at this most sensitive time.

Two unprecedented incidents on the southern border in just the last few days, however, served as markers for the rapidly changing situation.

First, according to international media reports, an Israeli drone struck an Al-Qaeda-affiliated organization in Sinai, as it was making final preparations to fire rockets at Israel.

While Israeli defense officials have not confirmed or denied the reports, if true, they represent the first preemptive counter-terrorism strike on Egyptian soil.

If Israeli intelligence receives word of an imminent attack taking shape in Sinai, with little time to coordinate a response with Egyptian military forces, such action might be expected.

Islamists across Egypt were quick to seize on the incident to accuse the Egyptian military of being complicit in an Israeli breach of Egyptian sovereignty.

Although this incident was quickly forgotten by Egyptians as both Egypt proper and Sinai descended into turmoil, there is evidence that further attacks by Sinai terrorists against both Egyptian security forces and Israel are being planned.

An additional signal of the deteriorating security situation in Sinai was the rocket fired by a terrorist organization at the Red Sea tourist resort city of Eilat over the weekend.

Anticipating the attack, the IDF stationed an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery in the city. The prior preparation paid off: the system fired an interceptor that successfully stopped the rocket from hitting the city.

The rocket failed to hurt anyone, but it did trigger an air-raid siren and frighten tourists, sending them scatting for cover. Unlike the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, which are used to Palestinian rocket terrorism, Eilat, a resort town, is not used to living under rocket fire.

Today, a shadow of uncertainty hangs over the future of the city’s tourist industry. For now, Israeli visitors to the city are displaying trademark resilience, and are continuing to pack the city’s hotels and beaches.

Nearby, however, the IDF continues on high alert, watching every suspicious movement in the desert sands near the Egyptian border for signs of the next attack.

State Dept. Now Fighting ‘Enemies Of Islam’

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

This is one step beyond The Twilight Zone …. it’s the O’Zone, just as poisonous and deadly. (Thanks to Armaros)

Obama’s state department is now calling devout Muslims “enemies of Islam.” This is madness. Are counter jihadists considered enemies of Islam?

State Dept Offers $10 Million Reward For Kill or Capture Of ‘Enemies Of Islam’ IJ Review, August 12, 2013

As with most things his administration does, I’m sure Obama will be shocked when he reads in the newspapers about the State Dept. declaring a $10 million bounty on the head of what it calls an “enemy of Islam.”

From a State Department Press release:

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the cowardly attacks today in Baghdad. These attacks were aimed at families celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The terrorists who committed these acts are enemies of Islam and a shared enemy of the United States, Iraq, and the international community.

Obama’s representatives tell us we don’t take sides in religious wars, but somehow it’s okay to issue a State Department “fatwa” against the enemies of Islam?

Visit Atlas Shrugs.

Iran’s New Defense Minister Linked to 1983 Marine Barracks Bombing

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Iran’s newly appointed defense minister, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, has links to the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks terrorist attack in Beirut that killed 199 American and French servicemen, says an Israeli think tank.

According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), Dehghan, who has spent his entire military career in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, was sent to Lebanon in the early 1980s to help organize and train Shi’a militia units that would become known as Hezbollah. Part of his mission was to establish Iranian control over Hezbollah through the creation of a central command center.

According to JCPA’s Dr. Shimon Shapira, “It was from this headquarters that Iran controlled Hizbullah’s military force and planned, along with Hizbullah, the terror attacks on the Beirut-based Multinational Force and against IDF forces in Lebanon.”

“The order to carry out the attacks was transmitted, and the funding and operational training provided, with the help of the Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon under the command of Hossein Dehghan,” Shapira wrote for JCPA.

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has called for direct talks with the United States regarding the Iran nuclear program. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called such talks a ploy for Iran to continue to enrich uranium.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/irans-new-defense-minister-linked-to-1983-marine-barracks-bombing/2013/08/13/

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