A dangerous new al Qaeda cell in strike mode from Gaza
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military sources reported that an aggressive new al Qaeda cell calling itself Jaljalat has been responsible for the last spate of cross-border attacks from the Gaza Strip. Our counter-terror sources report that Saudis, Yemenis and Egyptians who fought in Iraq and fled after being beaten down by US-led forces make up its hard core plus a score of Palestinian Hamas dropouts.
Sunday, July 19, Israeli Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin confirmed DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s disclosure that “world Jihad” elements had recently infiltrated the Gaza Strip. In his briefing to the cabinet, he said they – not Hamas – were responsible for all the recent attacks on Israel military forces guarding the Israel-Gaza border.
Hamas immediately denied the allegation as “unfounded.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly 405 revealed on July 17:
This week, al Qaeda’s Gaza branch issued a message warning that its members had taken an oath of allegiance to Osama Bin Laden, pledging to carry out “very big” attacks on American and Israeli targets in the Middle East. “Jaljalat” is the first word of al Qaeda’s anthem, which means: “We have been saved” [implicitly by jihad].
Although the Gaza Strip is under close scrutiny by many undercover agencies – especially American, Israeli and Egyptian – very little is known about the new cell’s makeup, modus operandi and method of communication with fraternal al Qaeda branches across the Middle East.
From the little known, it seems that Jaljalat is headed by a man known only as Abu Talib, and is increasingly attracting disillusioned operatives of Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades.
It attempted to mount its first multiple operation against several Israeli military border patrols on June 8. In a new departure from al Qaeda’s usual tactics, several dozen terrorists used trucks loaded with mounted horses to which explosives were attached. They burst out of the trucks and galloped toward the border to attack Israel positions athwart the first “bomb horses” in the history of suicide terror. None made it across. They were cut down by Israeli mortar fire.
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debkafile‘s military sources add: Jaljalat most likely carried out the anti-tank missile attack on an Israeli military squad patrolling the Gaza border at Nahal Oz Sunday night, July 19. No Israelis were hurt this time either, but it is feared that the new al Qaeda cell is just getting into its stride.
The experts have two theories to explain why Hamas is taking al Qaeda attacks from its turf lying down: Its leader find it hard to strike out against former members – is one. Another is its leaders have other fish to fry – Diskin believes they are deeply engaged in a bid to wrest the Palestinian leadership from the Fatah leader, the Palestinian authority chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, and are not averse to fellow-jihadists keeping up their war operations against Israel. This also muddies the water for Israeli retribution.