Bush and Blair faced al Qaeda threats in Israel and Gaza

debkafile‘s counter-terror sources report that the Shin Bet internal intelligence agency is now diverting resources from Palestinian terror to al Qaeda, in view of recent threats to Western leaders and the Islamist group’s intensified efforts to plant covert terror and spy cells in Israeli Arab communities.
Six Arabs were detained in Jerusalem Friday, July 18, for trying to set up an al Qaeda cell in Israel to shoot down President George W. Bush’s helicopter during a recent visit.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources disclose: On one site, the Saudi Hamza al-Ghamdi wrote: “Oh God, the idea occurred to me of kidnapping him and slaughtering him.”
Blair cancelled his visit to Gaza.
Friday, a Shin Bet inquiry led to the detention of 4 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and two Israeli Arabs from the northern towns of Nazareth and Taibe. They were said to have met several times at Jerusalem’s al Aqsa mosque to try and organize a local al Qaeda network. One of them, Muhammad Nijam, from Nazareth, a chemistry student at the Hebrew University, used his mobile phone to film helicopters at the university stadium used as a landing site for the Bush party during his Jerusalem visits in January and May. A Marines detail of bodyguards was located there.
Their leader is Yusuf Sumarin from the Beit Hanina suburb of Jerusalem, an ex-security convict.
Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman Zawahri and its regional operations chief have claimed that the cells planted among Israel Arabs are on the point of going operational. Earlier this month, two Israeli Bedouin citizens, brothers from the Negev town of Rahat, were indicted for joining al Qaeda in 2006 and gathering intelligence to aid attacks on Israeli military camps, the Tel Aviv Azrieli tower and Ben-Gurion international airport. The pair were instructed to prepare to guide terror teams from Saudi Arabia and Iraq through the West Bank to their targets.

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