debkafile Exclusive: Al Qaeda was in an uncharacteristically big hurry to criticize Palestinian elections – only five days after the Abbas declarat
Normally, Qaeda takes its time before reacting to current events. But now a videotape of Al Qaeda’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri calling Mahmoud Abbas “America’s man” was rushed into broadcast over al Jazeera TV, Wednesday night, Dec. 18. This sign that the Palestine is a burning issue for the Islamist movement confirms Mossad director Meir Dagan’s assessment to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Monday, Dec. 18, that the jihadist organization’s sights are now set on Israel.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources reveal that al Qaeda is in the throes of a wide-reaching clandestine campaign to sink deep roots into Palestinian armed ranks. The Islamist organization has secretly transferred hundreds of armed Palestinians from Syria to Lebanon and is building mixed units of Palestinians and Arab fighters from Iraq for planting on two Israeli borders – South Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Last week, Syrian military intelligence detained in Damascus one of the ringleaders of the operation, “Abu Khaled” (real name Mussa al Alma), of the Fatah-Intifada movement.
In his broadcast, Al-Zawahri delivered a warning that applied equally to Abbas’ Fatah and Hamas, clearly aimed at whipping both sides of the movement in line with radical tenets. He said “Those who try to liberate the Islamic territories through elections based on secular constitutions… will not liberate one grain of sand of Palestine.”