DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 11, 2002
The members of the Palestinian Legislative Assembly ought to have remembered when they set about forcing a showdown with Yasser Arafat that he relishes the challenge of turning setbacks into victories. Just before the hitherto tame lawmakers forced a vote of no confidence in his 21-man cabinet Wednesday, September 11, he instructed the ministers to resign, thereby sidestepping the vote and defeating its purpose. The largely corrupt and inefficient cabinet stays on as a caretaker until a general election, exactly as he wanted. In another maneuver to blunt the opposition, Arafat fixed January 20 as election day. He has no more intention of letting a free election go forward than he has of appointing a new government in two weeks, which he also pledged.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 2, 2002
On August 14, after repeated delays, the Israeli security cabinet finally held a special meeting to review the country's preparedness for unconventional warfare. It decided to vaccinate 15,000 "first response" personnel against smallpox, as a first stage of a general vaccination campaign against a possible bio-weapons attack originating in Iraq or carried out by Saddam's Palestinian proxies.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 20, 2002
After 12 years of obscurity in Libya, Abu Nidal surfaced in late 1997, taking up residence in Cairo with a small band of trusted partisans. What was Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak thinking of when he opened the door to this notorious purveyor of death? Thereby hangs an extraordinary tale, which debkafile reveals here for the first time.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 14, 2002
Today's sea pirates could not be more different from the romantic buccaneers of old Hollywood movies; they are organized in ruthless armed gangs, some of them paramilitary in nature and backed by powerful figures in various Third World regimes. Some belong to organized criminal organizations. These lawless gangs are equipped with the latest technology and weapons, computer equipment, satellite positioning and satellite gear. They have speedboats that can evade the sparse patrol vessels plying vulnerable sea-lanes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 12, 2002
Saudi foreign minister Saud al Faisal's disclosure to the Washington Post of Sunday - August 11, that Iran had expelled to Saudi Arabia 16 al Qaeda fighters - was Riyadh's riposte for the damaging briefing presented recently by a Rand Corp analyst to a Pentagon advisory board. The briefing described Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the United States, charging the Saudis with being "active at every level of the terror chain from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 31, 2002
The difficulty of identifying the seven victims killed and more than 76 injured was complicated by the severe nature of their wounds and the fact that many were foreign nationals who were rushed to hospital unconscious. Some of the critically wounded underwent emergency surgery before regaining consciousness.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 24, 2002
Various politicians lost no time in capitalizing on the genuine shock, condemnation and remorse in Israel and overseas over the death of children and civilians in Monday's Israeli F16 warplane bombing of a residential district of Gaza City. More than one previous attempt to hit the Hamas's top gun, Salah Shehada, was put off when he was found to be in civilian company.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 16, 2002
The expert ambush laid for the Bnei Brak-Immanuel bus 189 Tuesday, July 16, left seven Israelis dead. Eight of the 16 injured are fighting for their lives. The hospital had to deliver a badly hurt pregnant woman of a premature baby by Caesarian incision, in an attempt to save both lives.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 15, 2002
The dozens of Hizballah operatives, members of the notorious Imad Mughniyeh's security and intelligence networks, who have infiltrated the West Bank and Gaza Strip since late last year, significantly enhanced the capabilities of the Palestinian terrorist networks.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 7, 2002
Hesham Mohamed Hadayat was no stranger toEl Al's Los Angeles airport office.
According to debkafile's counter-terror sources, the man who murdered two Israelis on the El Al ticket line at Los Angeles airport on July 4th worked for the American Mercury ground service company from 1993 (one year after he arrived in the US) until 1998, when he left to set up his own limousine service for air passengers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 25, 2002
Ten days before President George W. Bush told the Palestinians to remove their leaders if they wanted a state (on June 24), an intelligence report landing on his desk informed him that Arafat had jumped the gun on the presidential statement. Instead of instituting democratic reforms, the Palestinian leader had overhauled and recharged his terror command structure in readiness for a savage terrorist offensive intended to reach also US targets in Israel and the Middle East.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 22, 2002
The slaughter of innocents inflicted on Israel this week by Palestinian murderers is unparalleled since the days of Nazi Germany. No longer are Israelis murdered singly; whole families are being wiped out while asleep, riding buses, celebrating.
The terror stalking every corner of the country lends the term holocaust a fearful, intimate meaning for the offspring of those who survived the Nazis and in 1949 founded a Jewish state and a national defense force, vowing that never again would Jewish children die defenseless.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 18, 2002
Between 75 and 125 operatives of the fundamentalist terror network, al Qaeda, are known to have illegally penetrated the United States in the last two months, mostly through American ports as stowaways in commercial sea containers. Many more are estimated to have slipped through unbeknownst to US authorities.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 9, 2002
Yasser Arafat unveiled his new government with loud fanfare Sunday, June 9, in advance of Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's talks with US president George W. Bush in the White House Monday. No one expected much more than cosmetic reforms as a sop to international pressure.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 5, 2002
Early Wednesday, June 5, a Palestinian terrorist drove a stolen vehicle from the West Bank into Israel, trailed the early Tel Aviv-Tiberias bus that was packed with commuters, mostly soldiers, drew up close and detonated the 100-kilo charge in his car behind the bus, as it passed Megiddo junction in northern Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 4, 2002
CIA director George Tenet knew - even before he talked to Yasser Arafat Tuesday, June 4, on ways of de-terrorizing and reforming the Palestinian tangled security apparatus - that he would be going back to Washington empty-handed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 2, 2002
In a lengthy speech to West Point graduates Sunday, President George W. Bush articulated a shift in his war on global terror. The familiar threats to "rout them out" or "find them wherever they are" were replaced for the first time by a warning to Americans "to be ready for pre-emptive action to defend our liberty and to defend our lives". Warning of the continuing danger, he said, "We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt its plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 27, 2002
An impressive array of diplomats has taken over the overhaul of the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat's baton, claiming structural reforms are a cure-all for Palestinian terror. The most ardent advocates of this panacea are US secretary of state Colin Powell, European Union foreign affairs executive Javier Solana, Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres, Arafat's close financial adviser Muhammed Rashid and Ariel Sharon's new chef de bureau Dov Weisglass.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 23, 2002
Wednesday night, May 22, Rishon Lezion, a small town south of TeI Aviv was struck by a Palestinian suicide bomber for the second time in ten days. The killer targeted strollers taking the air in the town's high street mall and knots of chess-players sitting quietly in a corner opposite a park. Two died and more than 30 hospitalized.
Less than 12 hours later, a catastrophe of disastrous proportions was narrowly prevented. Thursday morning, May 23, a tanker-truck drove into Israel's central fuel depot at Pi Glilot in north Tel Aviv and caught fire while loading. An explosive device attached to the truck's underside was detonated by a cell-phone. Fortunately the fuel was slow to ignite and automatic extinguishers quickly put out the flames. The fire did not spread to the fuel drums and no one was hurt.