debkafile Reports: An al Qaeda-in-Palestine video posted on internal Hamas Web site Wednesday Oct. 4 betrays active operational presence in Gaza an
Israeli, American and Egyptian security services find disturbing elements in the video which showed the blurred image of a man calling himself “Abu Hafs,” who claimed the killing of Col. Jad Tayeh (picture), Abu Mazen’s top intelligence officer and 4 bodyguards in a drive-by shooting ambush in Gaza on Sept. 15.
debkafile: Tayeh was Abbas’ go-between with Egyptian intelligence. “Abu Hafs” claims he was also his liaison with the Mossad and other intelligence services “which stab a knife in the backs of the Palestinian nation.”
The al Qaeda operative states clearly that Abu Mazen and his Palestinian clandestine services are in al Qaeda’s sights:
Abu Hafs claims: “American security companies hold the military and security of Palestine, have invested capital within the state, and Palestinian leaders do not use the funds for the people or care for them when crises arise.”
The al Qaeda spokesman goes on to threaten:
“To all those who are alert, wake up! The coming danger does not accept halfway solutions. It is a war without indulgence; it is a war that will not protect a traitor or an informer, or a security organizer. They will be an aimed target for our swords, if he did not repent and return to the lines of his people.”
This is the first time since al Qaeda established a Palestinian presence in Gaza after Israel’s Sept. 2005 withdrawal that the jihadist group has come out in the open and confirmed that presence. Documents said removed from the dead intelligence officer’s body were displayed. It is also the first time that al Qaeda has posted a video on a Hamas password-protected forum, indicating someone in Palestinian Hamas or the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist umbrella is interacting with the al Qaeda cell.
Four additional points stand out:
1. Col. Tayeh worked strictly under cover. Very few people in Abu Mazen’s inner circle knew of his movements. The day of his murder, he was in Cairo on a secret mission for Abbas when the Palestinian Authority chairman ordered him by phone to return to Gaza at once. Very few people in Abbas’ bureau knew about the call, not even his family. So how did al Qaeda obtain the schedule and the Palestinian colonel’s return route to Gaza? The documents displayed on the al Qaeda video are records of Palestinian secret service money movements in American and European banks.
The form and content of the 5 minutes 25 seconds clip betray a deep al Qaeda penetration of the top levels of Palestinian leadership and intelligence ranks.
2. It was released at the very moment that Abu Mazen and visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice began their news conference in Ramallah. The video tape was clearly put together well in advance for a calculated effect and indicates al Qaeda maintains active operational cells in the West Bank as well as Gaza.
3. For the ambush which killed the Palestinian intelligence officer to work, he must have been tailed on his journey from Cairo to Gaza by trackers setting out from Cairo or Sinai who reporting on his time of arrival in Gaza. This indicates operational links between al Qaeda cells in Egypt, Sinai and Gaza.
4. This was not the first time al Qaeda claimed the murder of Col. Tayeh. A previous video was released on one of Hamas’s protected forums on Sept. 20, but went unnoticed by Israel, US or Egyptian counter-terror authorities.