debkafile: Hizballah head warns Lebanon and Arab world not to tangle with al Qaeda on US behalf. BBC reporter’s kidnappers urge jihadists to help
Al Qaeda’s regional and Palestinian network has come to the surface under the pressure of the Fatah al-Islam-Lebanese showdown in the northern Lebanese Palestinian refugee camp.
Hassan Nasrallah’s dramatic TV speech Friday night, May 25, confirmed that the Fatah al-Islam faction fighting in Lebanon is al Qaeda, at a time when the jihadists’ deepening involvement in the Palestinian cause is taboo for Israeli, Arab and Western spokesmen. Nasrallah bluntly urged the Lebanese army not to storm the Palestinian Nahr al-Bared refugee camp near Tripoli because that would entangle Lebanon in the US war on al Qaeda. The camp and Palestinian civilians would be a red line. “We will not accept or provide cover or be partners in this,” he said. The Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah alliance should support the Sunni group fighting in the Lebanese Palestinian camp, not oppose it.
debkafile‘s intelligence sources point to the relevance of Nasrallah’s words to the Gaza crisis. He spoke shortly after the Palestinian Army of Islam in Gaza posted an Internet statement calling on jihadists to rally behind Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon. The group said it is holding BBC journalist Alan Johnston who was kidnapped in Gaza City on March 12.
Three further points are pertinent to the Palestinian-Israel conflict:
1. Nasrallah’s “red line” has opened the door to the transfer of Hizballah hardware to support Fatah al-Islam to counter-balance US military aid to the Lebanese army.
2. While Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the world-wide Palestinian Liberation Organization, insists that the Palestinians are not involved with Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon, Palestinian groups in Gaza and South Lebanon have announced they are prepared to wage battle in their respective arenas in support of their Lebanese comrades. Abbas has conspicuously omitted mention of the pro-Syrian Palestinian organizations fighting alongside Fatah al-Islam at Damascus’ instigation.
3. The Iran-Syria-Hizballah bloc’s support for al Qaeda’s campaign in Lebanon applies equally to the Gaza-based jihadist group’s offensive against Israel.