Even before Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was decently buried, al Qaeda’s chat rooms carried vicious attacks on Hamas and its administration under the late sheikh and his successor Abdel-Aziz Rantisi. Both were accused of the heinous crime of withholding “cooperation” from Osama bin Laden’s organization.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Islamic and counter-intelligence sources read this charge as signaling that al Qaeda is after same prize as Iran and the Hizballah: control of the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades for integration in its own operational wings.
Al Qaeda supports its claim to the force with the following arguments:
Hamas is wrong to confine its operations to Israeli and Jewish targets.
In addition to its “military” operations, Hamas maintains a certain level of political activity including dialogue with what is termed in al Qaeda vernacular “Arafat’s gang.” This contact is utterly forbidden to genuine Muslim believers.
Our sources note that Bin Laden’s organization is becoming increasingly intolerant of any Islamic armed organizations in current commission outside al Qaeda.
Hamas is severely taken to task for excluding two important elements from its struggle: the seven million Palestinians claimed to be living outside “Palestine” and al Qaeda.
Hamas is accused of indirectly validating American actions, preventing the overthrow of Yasser Arafat and the dissolution of his Fatah and, worst of all, pushing the Palestinian people towards civil war.
The critique aimed at Yassin and Rantisi is directed equally at Khaled Mashaal in Damascus. The very fact that the Hamas politburo head works out of an office in the Syrian capital provides legitimacy for Bashar Assad and his heretical regime.
As shown in the first article in this issue, Osama bin Laden is no longer willing to work with Muslim national resistance groups or even Muslim religious groups that are not part of his movement.