A Digest of debkafile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in Week Ending October 22, 2004:

Sharon May Buy Knesset Majority by Saying Yes to Referendum


18 October: Overcoming deep reluctance, Sharon has decided to go for a national referendum as a tool for manipulating the Knesset and enhancing his chances of attaining his real objective, majority endorsement for his disengagement plan, a parliamentary mandate for his policy. This is reported by debkafile‘s political sources. Next Tuesday, October 26, after months of crippling controversy, lawmakers will vote on this legislation.

Sharon has not made his new decision public. debkafile‘s political sources report it is based on the following calculations:

1. He believes he can scrape together a Knesset majority for his disengagement plan.

2. His rival, finance minister Binyamin Netanyahu, would prefer to keep his challenge for the leadership on hold until the end of the government’s term in 2006. But if elections were brought forward, he would place his bid and most probably defeat Sharon for the prime ministerial candidacy.

3. With the Knesset endorsement in his pocket, he can delay an election and let a referendum go forward at his leisure on a single question: Do you support or oppose the Knesset decision?

4. By the time the referendum is ready to go, the evacuation process will be so advanced that there will be little point in going through with it.

5. As long as he moves forward on the pullout, the prime minister is promised a parliamentary safety net for this government by Labor and the left-wing Meretz-Yahad opposition parties. His government will therefore enjoy the security of a long-life support system.

6. Sharon will therefore have no incentive to co-opt Labor to his government or expand his coalition by any further additions.


Al Qaeda Adopts Zirqawi’s Watchword: Slaughter the Infidels


18 October: debkafile‘s al Qaeda experts report that the fundamentalist ideologues of terror, after conducting a cold-blooded doctrinal debate on the integration of decapitation in their “jihad” produced their judgment Thursday, October 10: Americans in Iraq, all foreigners, and their Iraqi collaborators fit “every Muslim religious and traditional criterion that permits their slaughter.” i.e. decapitation.

The decree is divided into two long sections, each signed by a different group.

According to our experts, the first section addresses the questions and uncertainties stirred up in many parts of the Muslim world by the barbarous depictions of masked Muslim men snatching living human beings by the hair and slashing their throats with large knives. So monstrous are these images that even Arab TV stations are loath to air them.

The reluctant broadcasters are taken to task in this first section, accused of spurning “deeds sanctioned by Islam.”

Section two lays down the law: “The slaughter of infidels is compelled by religious precept and must be implemented in letter and spirit as determined by the Prophet Mohammed, who declared that decapitation is the most effective means of intimidation and deterrent against the enemy.”

Saturday, October 16, two days after publication of the two-part decree, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s Tawhid Wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War) announced the execution by beheading of 11 members of the Iraqi police and national guard. It was a form of Islamic salute to al Qaeda for coming around to Zarqawi’s norms of operation.

A few hours later, he took the critical step of vowing allegiance to Osama bin Laden as “the teacher of the generation.”

Zarqawi’s following in Iraq is under severe pressure from relentless US pummeling in Fallujah and in retreat from most of its Iraq bases. Yet inside bin Laden’s network, his path has triumphed. Al Qaeda’s parent body has bought his mode of operation as a tenet of its fundamentalist jihad doctrine, adopting his argument that to prevail in their holy war, adherents must abduct heretics and are bound to behead them.

The new al Qaeda decree represents a fresh policy twist for the entire network that portends stepped up brutality in its terrorist methods in Iraq and in countries where the group maintains active cells. Once the message is communicated to al Qaeda’s operatives everywhere, counter-terror experts foresee an upsurge in hostage-taking and decapitations spreading out of Iraq and Saudi Arabia and targeting Western civilians and anyone doing business, or maintaining military, personal or cultural relations with the West.

The first American victim to be slaughtered by al Qaeda was the Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl, who was murdered in February 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan.

From April 2004, 22 have suffered his horrendous fate in Iraq.

Foreigners beheaded in Saudi Arabia: On May 29, Al Qaeda attacked foreign oil offices and installations in Khobar City and took hostages. An official news blackout was imposed and the number and names of the hostages taken and murdered was never released. debkafile‘s sources estimate that 9 foreign employees were murdered by beheading after being identified as non-Muslims and separated from Muslim hostages. This group is believed to include one American, as well as Italian and Indian nationals.

Paul Johnson, American electronics engineer, was murdered June 2004 in Riyadh.


Hashemite Dynasty Shows the Flag at Gulf of Aqaba


21 October: One morning last week, inhabitants of Jordan’s southern Red Sea port of Aqaba awoke to the sight of an enormous flag flying from a 136 meter- (446 foot) high pole. The flag, measuring 80 meters (262 feet) by 44 meters (144 feet), was almost the size of an American football field. Dimensions aside, the flag looked odd, almost but not quite like the Jordanian national flag; it lacked the trademark star and its colors were in the wrong order. Instead of being arranged in a black, white and red pattern, the flag was black at the top, green in the middle and white at the bottom. debkafile‘s researchers identified it as the royal flag – not of Jordan but of the Hashemite dynasty that reigns in Amman today but originated somewhere else.

Through the many upheavals and disasters visited on them, the Hashemites who rule Jordan never gave up their claim to common descent with the Prophet or their vision of returning to their roots, the Hijaz, now the western Red Sea province of Saudi Arabia.

The new-old Hashemite flag hoisted so dramatically over Aqaba therefore carries a threefold statement, according to debkafile‘s Middle Eastern sources.

A. It is a symbolic restatement that the Hashemite claim to the Gulf and Hijaz lands on its eastern coast remains in force.

B. Aqaba and Kuwait are the two key transit ports for merchandise bound for Iraq. The flag may be interpreted as a message that the Hashemite branch which once ruled Baghdad has not relinquished its claim there either.

C. This message is as much religious as geopolitical and is addressed to al Qaeda and its Wahhabist mentors in Saudi Arabia, Sinai, Jordan, Iraq and Syria: the true and historic messengers of the Prophet Mohammed and his teachings are not al Qaeda but the Hashemites by virtue of shared ancestry and long rule in the holy places.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email