A Digest of debkafile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in Week Ending June 8, 2006

Several hundred Israeli youngsters still prey to post-traumatic stress nine months after forced evacuation from Gaza’s Gush Katif


31 May: Social welfare workers report many cases of severe psychological damage, extreme depression, eating and sleeping disorders, some drug addiction and nervous breakdowns. Many children have run away from their families. A large proportion of the 9,000 evacuee families from Gaza are still scattered in makeshift or unfinished homes and left high and dry without employment or their communal framework. All the children therefore suffer grave difficulties in adjusting to temporary schools and many prefer to play truant.

debkafile adds: Exploratory talks with West Bank communal leaders on further evacuations on a much larger scale are stalled by the government’s failure to make good on its commitments to rehabilitate the people evicted from Gush Katif.


Outrage in Israel over Mahmoud Abbas’ choice of Mahmoud Dimra – Abu Awad – to lead his new private US-UK-funded militia


31 May: debkafile‘s counter-terror sources report that Abu Awad is number 5 on the Shin Bet’s list of most wanted terrorists from the 2000-2005 Palestinian terror war against Israel. Dimra served as Yasser Arafat’s undercover coordinator for the suicide campaign waged by the Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and which is still operating unchecked by the Fatah leader, the same Mahmoud Abbas.

After the Israeli government made the gesture of allowing his force to take delivery of 200 rifles, security leaders say Abu Mazen has pulled a fast one.

Abu Mazen this week promoted Abu Awad, who had been lying low in the Palestinian security service as a major, to brigadier general.


America hits Iran’s Pocket, Iran Strikes US in Iraq and on Israel’s Borders


1 June: The two parties are closer to a collision course – first financial and, further down the road, military – than to dialogue.

The US Treasury has begun activating a go-it-alone program targeting the personal finances of Iranian officials in foreign banks and government transactions.

Iran has activated assets of its own – the surrogate terrorist groups the Islamic Republic maintains across the Middle East.

The dire situation of US troops in Iraq has taken a turn for the worse with the terrorist war leaking into the south. It is bolstered by a supply network Iranian agents have spread across the country to bring various types of rockets, bombs and funds to a broad spectrum of Sunni insurgents, Shiite militias and groups linked to al Qaeda.

Another asset Tehran is planning to field is the supply-and-operations network it has planted in Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian areas – mainly to target Israel.

Israel’s security situation has deteriorated sharply in the last two weeks on two fronts, the Lebanese and the Gaza borders.

Faced with US sanctions, the Iranian regime proposes to cash in on a third asset by buttressing the Hamas government’s backbone and its ability to stand up to international isolation as the head of Palestinian government.


Israel and Egypt play down “Egyptian” al Qaeda attack on Israeli troops to smooth their leaders’ first meeting Sunday at Sharm el Sheikh


3 June: Friday, June 2, three infiltrators from Egyptian Sinai waylaid an Israeli patrol on the Israeli side of the border and lost two men in the exchange of fire. The third escaped. The assailants, carrying Two Kalashnikov rifles, explosives in 9 knapsacks and a radio, wore Egyptian police uniforms.

debkafile‘s counter terror sources report a double cover-up by Jerusalem and Cairo began when Israel accepted the Egyptian claim that the assailants were Egyptian police NCOs – not soldiers which would have been a violation of the Egyptian-Israeli peace accords demilitarizing Sinai.

Our sources report that the three-man gang was in fact an al Qaeda cell planted in Egypt’s special counter-terror unit. Members of that unit wear police uniforms in apparent adherence to those accords.

In either case, Israeli security sources expressed surprise at their government’s failure to protest, complain or at least demand an explanation from Cairo for the unprovoked cross-border attack from Egyptian territory on an Israeli border patrol in the Negev.

debkafile‘s military sources disclose a second item covered up by common consent: The deployment of Egyptian special counter-terror forces on the Egyptian-Israel and Egyptian-Gaza borders was quietly approved last year by former prime minister Ariel Sharon and chief of staff Lt. Gen Dan Halutz in return for Mubarak’s pledge to use those troops to seal the border to the passage of terrorists.

Needless to say, the Egyptians never carried out their side of the bargain.

debkafile‘s counter-terror sources tie the incident to a battle staged Wednesday night, May 31, when an Egyptian special unit tackled a large al Qaeda band bound for another attack on the Multinational Force base at Al Gora near El Arish in northern Sinai.. The Egyptians captured 35 of the assailants. Many of them were Palestinians recruited to Musab al Zarqawi’s Sinai network.

Their initial interrogation by Egyptian intelligence revealed that Zarqawi’s Sinai-Gaza network is in the first stages of a new offensive in Sinai, aimed at seizing and massacring a large number of Israeli and Western holidaymakers as well as strikes inside Israel. Israeli security heads are disturbed by the growing number of Palestinians joining


Israel‘s Ehud Olmert voices regret for incident in which “two Egyptian security officers” were killed and announces a joint probe


4 June: Olmert’s first encounter with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak at Sharm el-Sheikh Sunday, June 4, was more a courtesy call than a down-to-earth discussion, with the Israeli prime minister heaping lavish praise on his host. The Egyptian president, commenting on the prime minister’s convergence plan for the West Bank, said dryly he would prefer a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, but did not object to any Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank. Olmert announced he would soon be meeting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

debkafile adds: Mubarak insisted on the Israeli prime minister calling on him after his Washington visit and before setting out for his first tour of European capitals next Sunday, June 11. For the Egyptian ruler, this was an exercise in upmanship over the new Israeli prime minister. By glossing over the attack on Israeli troops on the Israeli side of the border by al Qaeda gunmen masquerading in Egyptian uniforms, Olmert played into his hands.


Is the largest ever UK police anti-terror operation beginning to fall apart?


4 June: The raid was carried out amid fears of a new terror attack to coincide with the first anniversary of the July 7 London transport attacks, that left 52 commuters dead and hundreds injured. It was guided by “specific intelligence” that a bomb was assembled ready for use. But four days later nothing was found, although two brothers had been arrested, one of them shot and injured.

debkafile‘s counter-terror sources note that an awkward question shadows the drama of the Forest Gate raid. Will the “specific intelligence” provided by the domestic security agency MI5, which drove the raid, stand up? Or did they misread the signs as they did in the 7/7bombing attacks, when the surveillance of two of the four suicide bombers was called off shortly before they struck. MI5 has still not found a single lead to the vanished masterminds of the two July terrorist attacks in London, any more than they have to the controllers of Asif Mohammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sherif, the two British bombers who attacked the Tel Aviv beachfront cafe, Mike’s Place in April 2003. That was the first al Qaeda strike inside Israel.


Palestinian PFLP-GC hang-glider instructors relocate from Lebanon to Gaza to beef up Hamas military arm


4 June: Ahmed Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command is distinguished by an unusual specialty: motorized hang-gliders, hot-air balloons and remote-controlled model planes developed for border-defying suicide attacks into Israel.

debkafile‘s counter-terror sources reveal that – at Tehran’s behest – the extremist PFLP-GC has placed this aerial terror unit at the disposal of Hamas’ Ezz-e Din al-Qassam in the Gaza Strip. A team of instructors was smuggled into the territory in early May, along with German-made remote-controlled model planes adapted to delivering explosives and motorized hang gliders piloted by suiciders carrying explosives. They are currently engaged in assembling the craft, instructing Hamas operatives in their use and teaching them to make their own motorized hang gliders.

Egyptian security let the terrorists and equipment through without demur.

To meet this new strategic threat to the population of southern Israel’s towns and villages, Israeli military planners must overhaul the air force’s preventive operations and the electronic surveillance systems in force for the Gaza Strip. The task is complicated by the devices ability to fly underneath Israel’s radar screens.

Israeli generals calculate that with its aerial increment, Hamas has doubled its destructive capability; the terrorist group in Palestinian government can now


Al Qaeda has planted its first ideological structures in Jerusalem and Nablus, Israel’s Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin warns


6 June: Diskin delivered this grave, explicit warning at his Knesset foreign affairs and security committee briefing Tuesday, June 6. So far, there is no sign of the Olmert government addressing the menace fast closing in on Israel.

For some weeks, debkafile has traced the passage of al Qaeda operatives from the Gaza Strip to West Bank towns and Arab Jerusalem, in line with its planners’ tactical landmark decision to plant ideological roots in the Palestinian population before turning to terrorist action.

The world jihadist group decided on the incremental approach to its penetration of the West Bank so as not to clash head-on with secular Palestinian security and intelligence services, the Shiite Hizballah’s networks and Hamas, which is leery of al Qaeda as a potential rival for Palestinian rule.

West Bank and Jerusalem stores are therefore awash audiotapes, video film, pamphlets and posters pushing the al Qaeda message.


Sderot citizens plan collective desertion of Negev town


7 June: They say that after enduring five years of Palestinian Qassam attacks from neighboring Gaza – without adequate bomb shelters – they are at the end of their tether. The townsmen challenge the Olmert government to choose between making of Palestinian Khan Younis a ghost town or letting Israeli Sderot go.


Al Qaeda has already named Abdallah Bin Rashid al Baghdadi, head of its shura council in Iraq, as Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s successor


8 June: debkafile‘s counter-terror sources reveal Western intelligence agencies dealing with terrorists in the region know nothing about the new man. Al Qaeda has already vowed to fight on after Zarqawi’s death in a statement on its web site.

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