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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Terrorist’

Mortar Hit Israel in the Early Morning

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Following a night of fighting between Hamas and the IDF in Gaza, leaving 5 IDF soldiers injured, and up to three Hamas terrorists dead, Gaza fired yet another mortar at Israel at 5:30 AM on Friday. It hit in the Eshkol region. No injuries or damage were reported.

Arab-US Woman Arrested for Lying about Terrorist Bombing In Israel

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

A naturalized American citizen who immigrated from Jordan in 1995 could be deported from the United States for lying about her conviction for the 1969 bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket, in which two Israelis were killed.

Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 66, was arrested Tuesday in her suburban Chicago home on immigration charges and appeared in federal court in Chicago.

She faces up to 10 years in prison for lying about her past in order to immigrate and could be stripped of her U.S. citizenship.

She was convicted in Israel in 1970 and sentenced to life in prison for her participation in the 1969 bombings of a Jerusalem supermarket and the British consulate. The bomb that exploded at the supermarket during the heavy Friday crowds killed two and injured several others, and a second bomb planted at the consulate failed to detonate.

The attacks were planned by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States in 1995.

Odeh was released from prison in 1980 in a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Popular Front in which Israel released 76 prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon.

On her application for immigrant status, Odeh stated that she had lived in Amman, Jordan from 1948 onward, she also answered no to a question that asked if she had even been arrested, convicted or been in prison, and if she had ever been the beneficiary of a pardon or an amnesty.

Odeh works from an organization that helps new Arab immigrants, and its director Hatem Abudayyeh told the Associated Press, “She is a leader in the community — a stalwart, an icon… We are very, very angry.”

It was not clear why they are angry, but there probably are more than a few Chicagoans who are angry at federal authorities for having allowed a former terrorist, who denied her past, to live under their noses.

The JTA contributed to this report.

Hamas Admits: We Dug Up the Tunnel to Kidnap Israelis

Monday, October 21st, 2013

The Hamas organization accepted responsibility on Sunday for the digging of the “terror tunnel” exposed by the IDF a week and a half ago in the area between Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha and the Gaza Strip border.

It turns out the Hamas has a “military arm,” which is responsible for doing the bad things, while the “civilian arm” continues to receive donations from the nice folks in Europe. This way they make sure that the money donated to Hamas is only used to feed orphans and widows, all of them 100 percent victims of Israeli genocide.

On Sunday, a spokesman for the bad Hamas, a gentleman nicknamed Abu Ubaida, after a medieval Muslim language scholar (on account of the talking, you get it, right?), told the Hamas radio station in Gaza that the Hamas military force “dug the tunnel and were responsible for it.”

Abu Ubaida stated that the tunnel was dug in an attempt to kidnap an Israeli soldier or civilian, and use them to force Israel to release the remaining thousands of Palestinian prisoners in its jails.

Israel has established many times in the past that not only is it happy to negotiate with terrorist, but that it’s willing to give away the story. The going rate for 1,000 jailed Arabs is one captured Israeli.

In 2011, 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, who were collectively responsible for 569 Israeli deaths, were released in exchange for Gilad Shalit. The campaign to release him (see the girls below painting his portrait on the pavement) reassured Hamas that they don’t need to ever give up anything in negotiations, or recognize, not even on paper, the Jews’ right to live. All they need is to get them a succulent Israeli with good, middle class parents.

Free_Gilad_Shali

It should be noted that the IDF blamed Hamas for the tunnel as soon as it was discovered. It also blamed winter for rain, and summer for those long, hot days in August.

It should also be noted that the tunnel required some 500 tons of cement, which was produced in Israel and provided to the Arabs in Gaza for the explicit purpose of rebuilding their neighborhoods following the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense.

It appears that the Arabs went ahead and used that precious cement to aggressive ends, rather than to construct their homes. In fact, the IDF estimated that an astounding 20% of Hamas’s annual budget goes into building terror tunnels.

This is astonishing, in light of the fact that they’ve never done anything like that before, and no one in Israel could have imagined this kind of treachery. This is a moral failure on the part of the bad Hams, and we certainly hope the good Hamas will give them a sound rebuke!

The tunnel, incidentally, was 45 feet deep in places, and looks like a mini subway tunnel, complete with a track and a small car that could be used to whisk away the kidnapped soldier, even as his or her parents are being called and urged to start organizing a mass grassroots movement to release a thousand murderers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the IDF for the discovery, saying it’s all part of Israel’s new, aggressive security policy, which is the reason why we’ve had the “quietest year in a decade” in Gaza, despite the rise in terrorist activity in recent years.

Of course, it could be that the reason the Arabs have been so quiet is that they’re all underground, digging up tunnels.

It’s interesting to note that the Egyptian Army has found a very effective way of securing its own border with the Gaza Strip: they caved in all the tunnels with bulldozers, then used the same bulldozers to raze a swath of several kilometers worth of buildings, creating a no man’s area where Arabs who dare to enter will be shot.

Could we contract the same Egyptians to fix our Gaza problem?

9 Year Old Noam Glick Going Home to Psagot

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Army Radio reports that Noam Glick, the 9 year old girl who was attacked in Psagot, by a Palestinian Authority terrorist, will be going home today, after recuperating from her surgery.

Arrests in Al-Bireh, Near Psagot (+Video)

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Arab media outlets are reporting that 12 IDF jeeps entered the village of Al-Bireh on Monday evening and arrested two brothers.

According to the reports, the IDF did a quick search in a few homes, and then entered the home of Majad and Ella Adwai and arrested them.

On Saturday night, a terrorist entered the town of Psagot and shot nine year old Noam Glick. The army suspects the terrorist(s) may have came from the nearby village of Al-Bireh.

It’s not known if the arrests are connected to the terror attack.

Schools Opened in Psagot as Searches Continue

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

7:46 AM IDF Spokesperson states that an improvised weapon was found on the path where the terrorist escaped from – Tazpit News Agency.

7:45 AM Arab workers to not be allowed into Psagot and Kochav Yaacov today. Other nearby towns will be letting Arab workers in. IDF still continuing searches. IDF troops will be guarding the schools.

7:37 AM IDF states that all classes will now be held as normal.

7:00 AM In the town of Psagot, in Binyamin, where a terrorist infiltrated last night, the IDF is still placing some restrictions on entry into the town. Everyone leaving the town must show ID. The alert was called off at 4 AM.

While most of the IDF has packed up, the IDF is continuing to conduct searches within the town and the surrounding area for additional terrorists, according to a report by Tazpit News Agency.

The schools will not be opened up this morning until the IDF completes all the searches, and school buses from outside the town will not yet be allowed in.

There are reports that there it is believed that a vehicle was waiting in the valley below Psagot to help the terrorist escape.

The IDF has not officially stated they caught the terrorist. All reports of a captured terrorist have come from residents of the town.

The girl, Noam bat Michal, underwent surgery last night, and is recuperating in Sha’arei Tzedek hospital.

After the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Is Hamas in Gaza Next in Line?

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Originally published at Israel and Terrorism.

Egypt has finally decided to tackle the security threat from the Sinai Peninsula, a region that was nearly under the control of jihadist organizations with links to al-Qaeda and Hamas.

The Egyptian army’s ultimate goal is clear: to recover Egypt’s sovereignty in Sinai. In order to succeed in its mission, the Egyptian supreme command understands that it must neutralize Hamas, which it sees as partly responsible for the security situation in Sinai during the last few years.

For the first time since it was founded, Hamas is showing signs of panic. Egyptian newspapers quoted Palestinian sources as saying that 90 percent of the smuggling tunnels along the border with Gaza have stopped functioning as a result of Egyptian measures, leading to the potential loss of nearly 40 percent of Hamas’ revenues.

With the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt counting its dead by the hundreds and the campaign being waged by the Egyptian army against them far from over, and with its relations with Turkey and Qatar faltering, Hamas has instructed its spokesmen to avoid making any comments about the crisis in Egypt so as not to evoke the wrath of Egyptian army Commander in Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Since the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in early July 2013, it has embarked on a punitive campaign against Hamas, the self-declared offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood.

During this time, the Egyptian army has destroyed more than 300 tunnels (out of as many as 800), the arteries of the Gaza economy; created a 500-meter-wide buffer zone along the 11 km. Gaza-Egypt border, from the Mediterranean Sea until the Israel-Egypt border south of Rafah, while razing scores of inhabited buildings that stood in the way;1 implemented a de-facto siege on Gaza by closing intermittently the official Israel-Egypt border crossing; chased Gaza fisherman at sea; and engaged in an unprecedented and coordinated media smear campaign against Hamas, accusing the terrorist group of trying to destabilize Egypt and ultimately replace the government with its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Indeed, Egypt has finally decided to tackle the security threat from the Sinai Peninsula, a region that was nearly under the control of jihadist organizations with links to al-Qaeda and Hamas. The Egyptian army has massed troops, deployed combat helicopters, dispatched navy patrol boats, and is carrying out coordinated attacks against concentrations of terrorists in Sinai.

The Egyptian army’s ultimate goal is clear: to recover Egypt’s sovereignty in Sinai. In order to succeed in its mission, the Egyptian supreme command understands that it must neutralize Hamas, which it sees as partly responsible for the security situation in Sinai during the last few years.

Hamas’ Strong Ties to the Muslim Brotherhood

There is no doubt that the origin of the Egyptian military’s actions against Hamas lay in the basic fact that during the brief rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt under the Morsi presidency, Hamas enjoyed a privileged position and almost an official adoption by the regime, to such a point that Hamas behaved as if it was part of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood. For example, Hamas enjoyed complete freedom for its illegal commerce through the 650-800 tunnels that linked the Gaza Strip to Egypt; for its assistance to jihadi groups in Sinai; for its unaccountability for the six Egyptian police officers kidnapped and held in Gaza for more than five years; and, ultimately, for ignoring the Egyptian armed forces’ warnings since Hamas was (according to some sources) led by government officials who issued instructions to ignore the Egyptian army since it was irrelevant.

However, beyond these facts, the actual ruling team in Egypt knows that Hamas was involved in the earliest days of the revolution against President Mubarak, when protesters stormed Egyptian prisons and freed hundreds of detainees, who were mostly Muslim Brothers, as well as Hizbullah and Palestinian operatives held in Egypt for terrorist activities. Hamas took part alongside the Egyptian Muslim Brothers in the violence against the Mubarak regime and, according to some press releases, Hamas operatives were involved in firing metal darts against anti-Morsi protesters loyal to the regime.2

In addition, the Egyptian armed forces accuse Hamas of harboring the jihadists that killed almost 30 Egyptian officers and soldiers in Sinai in the summer of 2012. The Egyptian army also claims that at least five Hamas operatives were involved in the execution of 25 unarmed Egyptian policemen near el-Arish on August 19, 2013.3 The Egyptian army has also accused Hamas of trying to smuggle hundreds of deadly weapons, including 19 Grad rockets, and fake Egyptian army uniforms, in order to create havoc inside Egypt.4

Currently, 15 major terrorist groups operate in Sinai. Each of these groups, without exception, is closely linked to terrorist activities in the Gaza Strip. Egyptian and Israeli authorities are aware that several of the most dominant jihadists in Sinai, including those who were involved in the attack against the Egyptian army in 2012, are now hiding in Gaza with Hamas’ knowledge and consent.5 Finally, Hamas is accused of harboring the new Muslim Brothers’ Supreme Guide, Mahmoud Ezzat, in Gaza and of conducting joint training between Muslim Brothers who found refuge in Gaza and elements of the Al-Qassam Brigades in the area of Khan Younes before sending them to Sinai and inside Egypt.6

Economic Pressure in Gaza

Given what is happening in Egypt now, Hamas is alarmed. For the first time since it was founded, Hamas is showing signs of panic.7 The cost to Hamas is tremendous: Egyptian newspapers quoted Palestinian sources as saying that 90 percent of the smuggling tunnels along the border with the Gaza Strip have stopped functioning as a result of the Egyptian measures. According to the Gaza economic ministry, the recent tunnel destruction has cost Gaza around $230 million.8 Hamas spokesmen appealed to the Egyptian authorities asking them not to shut down the tunnels until Hamas could find other channels for bringing goods into Gaza. The extent to which Hamas relies on the smuggling tunnels is evident in an internal report made public by the Al-Monitor news site. It shows that Gaza gets most of its goods through the tunnels, and not through the official border crossings from Israel or Egypt. In the first quarter of 2013, for example, the tunnels provided 65 percent of flour, 98 percent of sugar and 100 percent of steel and cement deliveries.9

If the delivery of goods via the tunnels is discontinued, a lack of supplies will not be the only problem. It will create financial disaster for Hamas, since taxes on goods delivered via Israel are transferred to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Only taxes on smuggled goods end up in the Hamas treasury. It has been estimated that these taxes account for 40 percent of the government’s entire revenue and are used by Hamas to pay the salaries of over 45,000 civil servants. In recent months, Hamas has been earning some $8 million in taxes on smuggled fuel alone, and also levies a tax of about $5.40 on every ton of cement. An average of 70,000 tons of cement is smuggled into Gaza every month.10

Hamas’ leaders are consulting over how, and even if, they can help their brothers in Cairo, but at the same time they are talking about how to stay alive. So while the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is counting its dead by the hundreds, and the campaign being waged by the Egyptian army against them is far from over, the Hamas movement has withdrawn into itself and instructed its spokesmen to avoid making any comments about the crisis in Egypt, so that it does not upset those very people it really does not want to upset right now. Hamas spokesmen totally deny Hamas involvement in terrorist attacks conducted against Egyptian troops in Sinai. Hamas did not dare organize even a single rally in support of them. It seems that fear causes Hamas to take extra precautions – both in word and deed – so as not to evoke the wrath of Egyptian army Commander in Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.11

The situation in Egypt has paralyzed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and even the leader of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, who seems to have disappeared ever since Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was deposed.12

There was little surprise that the Hamas leaders who have spoken out against Egypt are those based abroad and not those living in Gaza.13 As a political scientist at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University put it, “Those who live abroad don’t care as much about Gaza’s isolation, but Gaza’s rulers will pay the price for any Egyptian escalation. I think those in Gaza will be more prudent and nuanced when they speak about the new Egyptian government.”14

Hamas Losing Allies

The most important question of all remains: What future does Hamas have? For the first time in more than two decades, Hamas has no regional political allies in positions of power – a huge problem for a movement that is heavily dependent on alliances that provide financial, military, and political support. Sunni Hamas severed ties with former ally Syria last year over its crackdown on the predominantly Sunni Syrian opposition. As a result, Iran has stopped its financial aid that consisted of almost $20 million per month.15 Syria and Hamas, along with Iran and Hizbullah, formed the so-called “axis of resistance” that opposed Israel and the West. For decades, Syria embraced Hamas’ leadership and provided the Islamic movement with funds, weapons, and political support, which were used to wage war against Israel and, later, the more moderate Palestinian faction, Fatah.

Now, Hamas has turned to Turkey and Qatar to fill the void.16 However, since Egypt’s Islamist government was toppled, and following the deterioration in Turkish-Egyptian as well as Qatari-Egyptian relations, Hamas’ relationship with Turkey and Qatar has seemed to be faltering. Egypt was the critical link between Gaza and its benefactors because of its shared border.

An article in Hamas’ official daily Al-Rissalah claimed: “Indications on the ground show that Cairo…will not allow the Islamic model in Gaza to remain standing due to its ideological ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is being marginalized from the Egyptian political scene at gunpoint….Those who follow Egyptian affairs know full well that Gaza is prone to return to its political isolation. This is the biggest fear of Palestinians living in the Strip, following a year of regional and international acceptance.”17

It would be fair to assess that Gaza’s isolation is Egypt’s ultimate goal, since such an objective would meet Egypt’s interests: to consign Gaza to oblivion and reduce Hamas to its real size.

*     *     *

Notes

1. Assaf Gibor, Maariv-nrg, 2 September 2013.
2. Elhanan Miller, “Hamas used metal darts to kill protesters during Egypt’s revolution,” Times of Israel, 30 April 2013.
3. i24news, 25 August 2013.
4. “Egyptian General: Hamas terrorizing Egyptians,” Times of Israel, 18 July 2013.
5. Avi Issacharoff, “No summer break in the violent Middle East,” Times of Israel, 23 August 2013.
6. Al-Yawm el-Sabei, Egypt, 24 August 2013.
7. Shlomi Eldar, “Has Hamas abandoned Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood?” Al-Monitor, 19 August 2013.
8. Ahmad Aldabba, “With Brotherhood’s fall in Egypt, Hamas faces harsh reality again,” Christian Science Monitor, 27 July 2013.
9. Theresa Breuer, “Closed tunnels could ruin Hamas,” Der Spiegel, 30 July 2013.
10. Ibid.
11. Shlomi Eldar, op.cit.
12. Ibid.
13. Elhanan Miller, “Cautiously Hamas speaks out against Egyptian bloodshed,” Times of Israel, 19 August 2013.
14. Ibid.
15. Theresa Breuer, op.cit.
16. Ahmad Aldabba, op.cit.
17. Elhanan Miller, op.cit.

http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.co.il/2013/10/after-muslim-brotherhood-in-egypt-is.html

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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