Thursday, May 17, 2007

FORGET ABOUT AL QAEDA-IRAQ--WHAT ABOUT THE AL QAEDA-HAMAS CONNECTION? From the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

The Growing Hamas-Al Qaeda Connection

Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi

  • Al-Qaeda generally thrives wherever central authority of governments is collapsing and therefore its current success in the war-torn Gaza Strip should not come as a surprise.
  • Just after Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, there were reports that al-Qaeda had exploited the new security vacuum that had been created and begun to dispatch its operatives to this territory. By March 2006, no less than the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) told the London Arabic daily, al-Hayat, "We have signs of the presence of al-Qaeda in Gaza and the West Bank."
  • In the meantime across the Middle East the external Hamas leadership maintained close ties with well-known figures associated with the al-Qaeda network, like the leader of the Kashmiri organization, Hezb ul-Mujahidin, Sayyid Salahal-Din, in Pakistan and Abd al-Majid al-Zindani, a bin Laden loyalist, in Yemen. The latter met with Khaled Mashaal on March 20, 2006.
  • Significantly al-Hayat reported on April 4, 2006: "a definite presence" of al-Qaeda operatives in Gaza, who had infiltrated from Egypt, Sudan, and Yemen. Moreover, a little over a month later Egypt's Ministry of the Interior disclosed that two terrorist operatives involved in the April 2006 attack on the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Dahab, underwent military training in the use of weapons and explosives in the Gaza Strip.
Read the whole thing.

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