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.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 22, 2002
The word is out in the United States: Al-Qaeda, Hizballah and the Egyptian and Palestinian Islamic Jihad groups are about to strike.
US intelligence has been leaking information, based on fragmentary intercepts of terrorist transmissions, of impending mass-casualty attacks in the United States, Europe and the Arabian Peninsula, including the Persian Gulf.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 19, 2002
Three separate episodes over two decades, presented here for the first time by the intelligence and terrorism experts of debkafile and DEBKA-Net-Weekly, demonstrate that the malaise afflicting US intelligence is long-standing.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 18, 2002
The most striking living proof that American double agents can be planted in the al Qaeda terror network is not to be found in Guantanamo or in East Afghanistan, which US, Australia, Norwegian, New Zealand and British Royal Marine troops are currently scouring for al Qaeda and Taliban pockets. That proof is to be found in Manhattan, not far from the ruins of the WorldTradeCenter, in a cell of a jail that also holds Ramzi Yousuf and the Blind Sheikh Rahman referred to by Condoleezza Rice.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 17, 2002
On January 8, 1998, 33 months before the September 11 disasters, Islamic fundamentalist Ramzi Yousuf was sentenced by a Manhattan court to 240 years solitary confinement, a $4.5 m fine and $250 m in restitution for perpetrating the first terrorist attack on New York's WorldTradeCenter in February 1993.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 16, 2002
However insistent Palestinian calls on their leaders to overhaul their ruling system may be, no single group dares suggest that Yasser Arafat be "reformed" out of his job as Palestinian Number One. He is therefore secure in the knowledge that the only reforms in his governing regime will be orchestrated by himself - or not at all.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 15, 2002
The deal that turned Yasser Arafat loose from his besieged and battered Ramallah compound on May 1 entailed his surrendering six Palestinian terrorists and killers wanted by Israel, to be imprisoned in Jericho under American-Anglo custody.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 13, 2002
Two events on Friday, April 12, reshaped US Secretary of State Colin Powell's conception of his peace mission to the Middle East: his tour of Israel's tense northern border region, which he termed "an eye opener"; and the suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem that blasted a bus line - just as his helicopter lifted off from the Knesset helipad only a quarter of a mile away, killing six Sabbath Eve market shoppers and injuring 89.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 10, 2002
Friday, May 10, was a dark day for the thousands of Israeli bereaved by Palestinian terror. The details of the deal to release 123 Palestinians granted sanctuary for 38 days in one of the holiest shrines of Christendom, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, slipped out when it was too late.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 7, 2002
Monday, May 6, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the Pentagon. On the same day, John Bolton, US undersecretary of state, disarmament expert and the closest official in that department to the White House, accused Libya,Syria and Cuba of pursuing weapons of mass destruction. The terms of this warning strongly resembled the language Washington uses in reference to Saddam Hussein. Bolton warned all three of American action to ensure they do not supply terrorists with such arms.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 6, 2002
A large number of badly wanted Palestinian gunmen were among the 200 people who dived into the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem 35 days ago, just ahead of the incursion of Israeli troops and tanks, in the early days of Israel's largest anti-terror operation against Palestinian West Bank towns. They claimed and received sanctuary in the Christian shrine.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 3, 2002
For the first time, prime minister Ariel Sharon sets off for Washington Saturday night, May 4, completely in the dark about what awaits him in the Oval Office. In all his previous five visits since taking office, the agenda was clearly laid out. This trip, according to debkafile's political sources say, his close advisers have no notion of what he will hear from President George W. Bush.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 1, 2002
The package incorporating Yasser Arafat's freedom from a month under siege in Ramallah, the transfer of six Palestinian assassins and terror chiefs to jail in Anglo-American custody and the lifting of the Israeli blockade of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, has been teetering on the brink of consummation since early Tuesday, April 30. The parties involved in the three-way negotiations, the Vatican, the United States, the UK, Israel and the Palestinians, all explain that loose ends remain to be tied up.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 27, 2002
Saturday morning, April 27, two terrorists burst into the Jewish settlement of Adora, west of Hebron on the West Bank, shooting their way into one home after another. They killed four Israeli civilians, two of them young children, and wounded 13, 7 seriously.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 22, 2002
Israel's month-long offensive to smash Palestinian terrorists strongholds in the West Bank has had a side effect worth noting: some ordinary Palestinians are no longer afraid to speak out and admit their distress - in front of television cameras.