Just as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s condolence notice unmasked the dead Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as a secret high-ranking member, so too did another unexpected notice “blow” the existence of the first al Qaeda cell to gain a foothold among Israeli Arabs.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s counter-terror sources report that this week’s al Qaeda publications carried for the first time notices from an Israeli Arab group calling itself “Ansar Allah, Jerusalem-Nazareth.”
This group clearly took advantage of Yassin’s death to bring its own platform to public attention.
After condemning Israel for the assassination and offering condolences to his family, Ansar Allah states that, since the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians is at an end, all Muslims must focus their efforts on the fight against President George W. Bush, whom they term the Modern Pharaoh, and against his foremost helpers, the Israelis. There is no way but jihad, say the authors of the manifest. “The blood we shed will fuel our cause.”
According to our sources, al Qaeda timed the exposure of its Israeli Arab cell for the aftermath of Yassin’s death in order to post a message to two addresses.
Hamas leaders are informed that, if they persist in following the path set by Sheikh Yassin, al Qaeda will avail itself of a wide range of alternative Palestinian allies from among the inhabitants of Palestinian Authority-controlled areas and inside Israel.
The Israeli government addressed in the al Qaeda message is informed that the elimination of the Hamas leader will not deter the fundamentalist Islamic movement from stepping up its terror offensive against the Jewish state.
Our sources add that last year, Shin Beit Director Avi Dichter disclosed that Israel's intelligence and security services were acting on the working hypothesis that a number of al Qaeda sleeper cells were buried in Israeli Arab communities, ready to leap into action when their orders were received. This warning scarcely registered with most Israelis who have been preoccupied with the ever-present and frequent threat of Palestinian suicide strikes.