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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jihadist’

Any Lessons to Be Learned Here?

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Four Arab kids were looking at the remains of a burnt motorcycle belonging to Abdullah Harti, 29, a jihadist who was targeted and taken out by an Israeli drone. He is now in critical condition in the hospital.

Harti was a bad man, who shot rockets at civilians. But I doubt that this is how these four kids were thinking. I doubt they reacted the way any sane kid would have done, seeing this burnt motorcycle, which is to say, “What an idiot,” and walk away, certain never to get involved in shooting civilians.

They’re more likely to be thinking that some day they, too, would be riding their motorcycle to the launch pad, to shoot flying pipe bombs at children.

We should mix the drones that kill bad people with drones that drop candy on targeted kids. Confuse them a little. Don’t let them be so terribly certain.

Israeli Arab Citizen Charged with Joining Syrian Jihadists

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

An Arab with Israeli citizenship allegedly turned against the state and now is the first Israeli Arab to be charged with joining Syrian jihadists and fight with the rebels, according to an indictment filed in an Israeli court Wednesday.

The case has been under wraps since his arrest last at Ben Gurion Airport after the citizen, 29-year-old Hikmat Massarwa, returned from Syria via Turkey.

His lawyer claimed that Massarwa had no intention of harming Israel and was in Syria for the innocent purpose of locating his brother, who left Israel for Syria several weeks ago and also is suspected of joining  Al Qaeda-affiliated groups.

The increasingly frequent phenomenon of Arabs helping enemy states is of great concern not only to intelligence officials but also to politicians.

Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the Israel Beitenu faction that has since joined the Likud party, has won broad support from nationalists and horrified center-left parties by pushing for a loyalty oath and insisting that Arabs have no less an obligation to the country to fulfill a term of national service.

Israeli Arabs have no less than former Knesset Member Azmi Bishara to look “up” to as a model for a fifth column.

He fled the country six years ago after being indicted for passing on intelligent information to Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War, in which thousands of Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed or wounded in the 34-day war that devastated northern Israel, including Haifa.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said that Massarwa, a resident of an Arab area called the “triangle” because of its three-sided area between Netanya and Tel Aviv and the western border of Samaria, is a foreign agent.

Massarwa’s lawyer argued that after his client entered Syria to look for his brother, he was forced “to be part of this population,” referring to Syrian rebels associated with jihadists.

“He did not join the rebels. He helped them build tents and so on, said the attorney, Helal Jabar. “It seems more than a few Israeli Arabs have done this.”

Security agents asserted that rebels in Syria asked Massarwa about information concerning IDF weapons and the nuclear reactor in Dimona and that he was asked to carry out a terrorist attack in Israel, a request he refused.

Arabs with Israeli  citizenship have plenty of encouragement to work against the state. Most Arab Knesset Members not only side with the Palestinian Authority but also often speak against Zionism and the existence of a Jewish state. MK Hanin Zoabi boarded the Mavi Mamara flotilla ship, manned by IHH terrorists, three years ago and has incited against the state.

She has called Israel “inherently racist,” rejects the idea of Israel as a Jewish country, and Zoabi has backed Iran’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon, apparently preferring to die in an Iranian nuclear attack if Israel would be destroyed at the same time.

Other magnets for Israeli Arabs to help destroy Israel include the Hamas regime in Gaza, which recruit Bedouin Negev, turning several Arab population centers, such as Tel Sheva next to Be’er Sheva, into Hamas strongholds that Israeli police are frightened to enter.

Another attraction for Israeli Arabs to become Israeli traitors is the Palestinian Authority, whose official maps define Arab Palestine’s borders as the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the Jordan River on the east, and the Lebanese and Egyptian borders on the north and south.

With the spillover of the Syrian war into Jordan and Lebanon, and occasional fire on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, Massarwa may not be the last Israeli Arab citizen to be charged with helping the enemy.

With Hamas ruling over Gaza and recruiting Bedouin allies in the Negev and with Palestinian Authority Arabs increasingly frustrated with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ failure to improve their political and economic lives, the Syrian civil war is another inducement to work against Israel.

With the spillover of the Syrian war into Jordan and Lebanon, and occasional fire on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, Massarwa may not be the last Israeli Arab citizen to be charged with helping the enemy.

Large Swastikas Spray-Painted on Kosher Pizzeria in Paris

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The Jewish owner of the B’Paradise pizzeria in Sarcelles discovered the swastikas on his establishment’s walls on Monday, according to the French daily Metro. The newspaper reported that the swastikas were spray-painted Saturday on the shop display of the pizzeria, which overlooks the main synagogue of Sarcelles, a northern suburb of Paris, home to approximately 60,000 Jews.

In September, members of what French authorities described as “a dangerous Jihadist network” detonated a grenade inside a kosher supermarket in Sarcelles, lightly wounding one person.

Also Saturday, in Orgeval, an eastern suburb of Paris, unknown individuals spray-painted slogans praising Mohammed Merah, the killer of four Jews in Toulouse. L’Union reported that one graffiti called for the release of Youssouf Fofana, the leader of a gang who in 2006 tortured and killed Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man from the Paris region, because they wanted to kill a Jew.

Meanwhile on Monday, a headmaster of a school in Meilla, a Spanish city on the Moroccan coastline, denied reports that the recent assault of a Jewish high school student by Muslim classmates was motivated by anti-Semitism or related to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The boy was assaulted on Nov. 23 at the Enrique Nieto school, according to a report in Melilla Hoy, a local newspaper. The report did not say whether the boy sustained any injuries.

UPDATED: Bulgarians: Bomber Was a Jihadist Who Spent Time in Guantanamo

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

UPDATE: 7/19/12 10:46PM Sources are indicating that the Swedish national that was held in Guantanamo is not the Burgas bomber. As soon as we know more, we’ll update the report.

 

Bulgarian TV has announced that Medi Muhammad Ghezali, the suicide bomber who killed seven people on Wednesday, five of them Israelis, was member of the International Jihad who spent a year in Guantanamo Bay prison.

This may mean that PM Netanyahu’s accusation that Iran was behind the attack could be wrong.

Ghezali was arrested in Pakistan in 2009 along with his wife and a group of foreigners, including seven Turks, according to NRG.

Bulgarian officials are currently denying that Ghezali was the bomber.

After Dust Settles, French Security Failure in Toulouse Unequivocal

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Friday’s French newspapers want an answer to one simple question: How was a known Islamic extremist allowed to murder seven people, including three children, in three separate attacks?

The Communist “L’Humanite” demands full disclosure of how closely France’s intelligence services had been following Merah before his attacks. The gunman had been arrested numerous times and had been to Afghanistan – someone should have been keeping a tab on him.

“Liberation” wanted to know how presidential politics – and the upcoming vote – influenced the bizarre way Police managed the capture, taking 32 hours and then, essentially, botching the job, as the suspect was killed.

“Le Figaro” was more cautious, warning against a rush to judgment. After all, the police on the spot were aware of much more detail than those intellectuals and politicians on the left and on the right “who never lose a chance to cry scandal.”

The Catholic “La Croix” also suggested Monday morning quarterbacks should wait for the full police account. But it demanded a full account, nevertheless..

Veteran police officer Christian Prouteau, who founded the GIGN — one of France’s elite police units — said in an interview with “Ouest France” that he wanted to know why police had not used tear gas to flush out Merah, and said he was astonished that they had failed to take him alive. “How come the police’s best unit did not manage to arrest a lone gunman?” he asked.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a televised address that he would crack down on extremism, and wanted legal action against people who regularly visit Jihadist websites or travel to suspect destinations.

But French politicians are asking how French intelligence officers had failed to interrupt Merah’s killing spree, when they were keeping a dossier on him as a Muslim extremist.

Police failure will certainly bolster the chances of Sarkozy’s main challenger, Socialist Francois Hollande, who, at a Thursday rally announced that “questions will have to be asked.”

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told Europe 1 radio that intelligence officers had recently questioned Merah. Juppe agreed their failure to stop him in time would have to be investigated.

The al-Qaida linked Jund al-Khilafah, claiming responsibility for Merah’s murders on Jihadist websites, stated “the Frenchman carried out an operation that shook the foundations of the Zionist Crusaders. Israel’s crimes will not go unpunished.”

Toulouse Police Preparing to Raid Al-Qaeda Man Who Murdered Jewish Children

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

French police have surrounded the holdout of a man they believe was responsible for the killings of seven people in south west France.

The suspect is reportedly refusing to surrender to police following the pre-dawn raid in the Croix-Daurade district of the city of Toulouse and his mother has been brought to the scene to help negotiations.

An attempt to arrest the suspect appears imminent.

Up to seven shots rang out in the raid. Reports also say the suspect’s brother has been arrested in the raid.
France’s interior minister Claude Gueant told reporters at the scene that the suspect has links to Jihadist and Salafist groups.

The elite officers were injured during a Wednesday pre-dawn raid in Toulouse, as the search continued for the gunman who entered the school Monday.

The suspect is thought to be 24-years-old and had reportedly previously traveled to the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has been known to house al Qaeda safehouses.

Chief prosecutor in Paris, Francois Molins, who is monitoring the investigation in Toulouse, warned there could be more murders.

“At this stage, everything is being done to identify, find and stop the perpetrator, of these three killings as fast as possible,” he said. “In these exceptional circumstances, I think it is obvious that we are up against an extremely determined individual, who knows he’s being hunted, who could strike again.”

Pain And Martyrdom In The ‘New Middle East’: Hidden Meanings Of Impending Jihadist Terrorism

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

              Revolutionary fervor still sweeping the Middle East is plainly ongoing and perilously “contagious.” Above all, perhaps, these eruptions confirm that the so-called “Palestinian Problem” has never been more than a manipulated contrivance of corrupt Arab monarchies and dictatorships, and that Israel has had absolutely nothing to do with the region’s core problems. Indeed, to the contrary, this fervor reveals that if the Arabs had simply embraced rather than demonized Israel from the start – a fully rational and deserved embrace that would have been enthusiastically welcomed by all Israelis – the Arab states would have benefited politically, intellectually, medically, scientifically and materially.

 

            But what is real in world politics is not always rational.  As part of classical strategies of deflection and deception, Arab demonization of Israel, not symbiotic embrace, was de rigueur from the beginning. And now, ironically, in the wake of multiple revolutionary eruptions across the Arab world calling loudly for “democracy,” Islamist forces will quickly surface and expand with a renewed dedication to narrowly theological power and determinedly religious purity. The literally explosive results of this largely unexpected rededication and renewal will be felt not only in the Arab Middle East itself, but also in Israel, Europe and the United States.

 

             In Gaza, al-Qaeda, not to be outdone by newly emergent Muslim Brotherhood elements now coalescing throughout the Hamas-controlled strip, will re-double its own commitment to “sacred” violence. For all Jihadist terrorists, violence and the sacred will remain inseparable.

 

            Oddly, today’s headlines from the “revolutionary” Middle East are sometimes misleading, and generally incomplete. At its core, Jihadist terrorism has little to do with war, politics or resistance to oppression. Rather, the essential meanings of these recurrent excursions into barbarism can be found within personal feelings of fear, dissatisfaction, cowardice and loathing.  More particularly, these include: (1) a consuming, though unrecognized, horror of death  (relieved for “martyrs” by a compelling promise of immortality);  (2) an unfulfilled wish for ecstasy or intense pleasure;  (3) a palpable joy drawn from the targeting of those who “lack sacredness;” and, even more acutely after Mubarak,  (4) an abiding hatred of all “apostates” and  “infidels.”

 

            In searching for the truest meanings of regional revolutionary fervor in the Middle East, the implications for Jihadist terrorism will never be fully discoverable in official declarations, charters and covenants.  Nor will they be made understandable in less formal Islamist diatribes.  Obliquely but profoundly, these deeper meanings will remain hidden in the intense sufferings inflicted by Jihadists upon their past and future victims.

 

            In Egypt, and elsewhere in the volatile region, Jihadist terror will soon re-emerge with a “sacred” vengeance. Seeking to express Shahada, or Death For Allah, the now still-seemingly secular goals of revolutionary terror will create a convenient smokescreen for unalterably religious objectives.

 

            Human language can never describe agony. It follows that the defiling horror of Jihadist terror-violence can never really be understood or felt by others. Expert commentaries notwithstanding, this horror can never be reduced to any tangible, measurable, inventory of casualties.

 

             All agony is incommunicable. In matters of Jihadist terror, quantification must always miss the point.   

 

             Facing a “new Middle East,” the anguish of new terror victims will not only defile language, it will also be language defiling. The sheer inexpressibility of pain, although never determinable by politics, revolution or society, can still have expressible political, revolutionary and societal outcomes. In the case of still-coming Jihadist terrorism, it may even stand in the way of recognizing new Islamist violence as authentically evil or unacceptable. We may even encounter, in this connection, comfortingly romantic celebrations of Jihadist terrorism as the necessary “revolutionary” expression of  freedom-fighters.”

 

            According to certain recent WikiLeaks revelations, the U.S. Department of State had routinely identified the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in precisely such neatly sanitized terms.

 

             To adequately understand the “new Middle East,” especially the long-term consequences of multinational revolution, we will need to look far beyond the agitated but largely futile cries for “democracy.” To begin, we must understand that Jihadist terrorists are spurred on by the distinctly voluptuous and purifying satisfactions of their planned violence.  Islamist suicide-bombers, in particular, prepare carefully for their cathartic missions of pain and extinction because of the anticipated ecstasy.  Drawn from a presumed religious obligation, this ecstasy, which rewards doubly because it is also “cleansing,” represents an almost exact reciprocal of the unendurable suffering that must be borne by the victims. 

 

             For Jihadist suicide terrorists, both past and future, the death that is meted out to “profane” others is only an abstraction.  These victims, by definition, lack sacredness. Moreover, in the unchanging Koranic concept of war, terrorizing the profane unbeliever who refuses to be dhimmi (to accept Shari’a domination) is a desired end unto itself.

 

            Physical pain within the human body can not only destroy ordinary language, it can also bring about a visceral reversion to pre-language human sounds – that is, to those primal moans, cries and whispers that are anterior to learned speech. While the soon-to-be expanding number of victims of Jihadist terror will writhe agonizingly from the burns and the nails and the screws, neither the “civilized” world publics who bear silent witness, nor the “martyrs” themselves, will ever experience what is actually being suffered. 

 

             Physical pain, even in the “new Middle East,” can have no consequential “voice.” When, at last, it may discover some potentially decipherable sound, the listener will no longer want to listen. This audience, after all, mortal and fragile, will wish strenuously to deny its own existential vulnerabilities.  Significantly, such denial, as Freud himself recognized, always lies at the very core of what it means to be human.

 

             Violent upheavals now spreading across the Middle East contain important hidden meanings. For the most part, their principal legacy will have little to do with any sustained popular revolution, democracy, or the overthrow of earthly despotisms. Instead, it will bear upon long latent and much more primal human hopes of achieving the indisputably greatest power of all, power over death.

 

            Drawing upon these important hidden meanings of current revolutionary fervor in the “new” Middle East and North Africa, the essence of any capable counter-terrorist policy must soon begin to lie in the following critical awareness:  Jihadist violence is never rooted in any conveniently fashionable political or revolutionary ideology, but rather in remorselessly vengeful images of irresistible religious obligation.Jihadist terror, as I have written here previously, is always a distinctly sacred form of religious sacrifice. Once this elusive concept can be understood, we will finally be able to deal intelligently and purposefully with emerging hazards of the region.

 


LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) lectures and publishes widely on international law and international relations.  He is the author of some of the earliest scholarly books and articles on nuclear war and nuclear terrorism. Professor of Political Science and International Law at Purdue, Dr. Beres was born in Zürich, Switzerland, on August 31, 1945. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

The More Things Change… On Fighting A Terrorist Enemy Who Still ‘Loves Death’

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Notwithstanding all of the alleged “progress” in combating Islamist terrorism, our leaders have yet to really understand the core Jihadist rallying cry. “We love death,” the murderers shout ecstatically – and they always shout in chorus, for terrorism is a collective activity – but we seem to think this apparent necrophilia is merely perverse, that operationally it is beside the point. No judgment could be further from the truth. In fact, correctly interpreting this openly lurid affection is ultimately the key to fashioning a genuinely effective strategy of counter-terrorism.

For us – for Americans, Israelis, and many Europeans and Canadians – “suicide” bombers pose the greatest threat. But why should we put “suicide” in quotation marks? The answer lies in a manifold irony.

Terrorist “lovers of death” never commit suicide in the expectation of an authentic death. Rather, as they believe that purposeful acts of “martyrdom” will actually assure them a blissful immortality, their “suicides” mock any pretense of heroism. Jihadists always commit their “suicides” to assure eternal life. Islamist “suicides,” therefore, represent not only barbarism, but also cowardice.

The Islamist terrorist “lover of death” fears much more than a true biological expiration here on earth. Paradoxically, he also abhors the idea of continuing with his materialized life on this mundane planet. Often, apart from its central function to prepare the “martyr” for the next life, this terrestrial existence is deeply disdained and conspicuously loathed. For the “suicide” terrorist -almost always, and included among a number of other interrelated complaints – this life prohibits, inhibits and castigates the most compelling needs of his inborn human sexuality.

Current Islamist terrorism is never really about politics. Exploiting both meaning and Eros, Muslim terrorist masterminds successfully prod young Islamic males to “sacrifice” themselves through the killing of “infidels” or other enemies of the faith. Curiously, the important link between Islamist terror violence and repressed male sexuality still remains widely unrecognized. Regarding female suicide bombers, even less is understood.

Contrary to all conventional wisdom, especially as it is constructed in the universities, anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Western Islamist terror has fundamentally nothing to do with material deprivation or ideological issues. Terror violence is now only rarely produced by anger about some foreign policy issue or other grievance. What genuinely animates Islamist “suicide” terror is the tangibly thrilling promise of personal salvation through sacred acts of killing. It is this particular redemptive promise that routinely blocks the way to American and Western success in counter-terrorism at home and abroad. From a military standpoint, this promise represents an incomparable offer that can never be countered with bombs, bullets or boots on the ground.

The “suicide” murders of American and other men, women and children on 9/11 stemmed from the very same sentiments that now continue to make casualties of American soldiers, Iraqi civilians, British subjects, assorted Europeans and Israeli noncombatants. Consider, for example, the sentiments offered by one Jamal Abdel Hamid Yussef, openly explaining operations of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades (military wing of Hamas in Gaza): “Our suicide operations are a message…that our people love death. Our goal is to die for the sake of God, and if we live we want to humiliate Jews and trample on their necks.”

By “dying” in what is presumed to be the divinely mandated act of killing apostates, infidels, Americans or Jews (it makes no difference to “suicide” terrorists that “Americans” and “Jews” are not mutually exclusive categories), the Islamist “suicide” terrorist firmly believes that he can conquer his own death. In his religiously promised paradise of eternal life, there will be rivers of honey and ample numbers of virgins. This is a terrorist’s very literal expectation; by no means, as I discovered myself several years ago in a personal interview with a failed Palestinian suicide-bomber, is it merely metaphoric.

With the “One True Faith” on their side, the Islamist terrorists we now battle in Baghdad, Gaza and elsewhere see absolutely nothing self-destructive about their willful murder of “enemies.” For them, dreadful cowards immobilized by a pervasive fear of life as well as death, “suicide” is only a momentary inconvenience on the (optimally explosive) path to heaven. Here, in psychological terms, the insufferable death fear of a terrorist ego is relieved by sacrifice of the “infidel” or “apostate.” Desperately, it is through the sacrificial burning and maiming and murder of a despised other that this frightened and frenzied Jihadist figure seeks to buy his own perpetual freedom from real death.

In Washington, in Jerusalem, in London, and in other capitals, our leaders are now left to deal with an apparent oxymoron. What shall they do about a “suicide” that does not intend to end personal life, but rather to extend it forever? For American military forces in Iraq – just as for our remaining allies fighting similar battles in Europe and Israel – there is no point to deterring a Jihadist enemy with deployments of more soldiers or with threats of crushing military power.

Such policies and postures will always fall on deaf ears. These prospects will never be received by our enemies with apprehension, but instead with a delirious cry of joy or a collective groan of fulfillment. Islamist terror is not about politics. It is all about ecstasy.

To deter the Islamist “suicide” terrorist plotting now underway in Iraq, Israel, Europe and also the United States itself, we must confront this formidable enemy with a tangible threat of real suicide. Let my Jewish Press readers recall that violence and the sacred remain altogether inseparable for the Islamist “suicide” fighter. We should think, immediately, in terms of “desacrilizing” this grotesque enemy’s explicit and unashamed inversions of holiness. Without thinking about how exactly to accomplish this desacrilization, our war on terrorists who “love death” will remain based on narrowly military grounds. In any such war we would surely fail.

Copyright©, The Jewish Press, January 18, 2008. All rights reserved.

LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and publishes widely on terrorism and counter terrorism. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/the-more-things-change-on-fighting-a-terrorist-enemy-who-still-loves-death/2008/01/16/

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