First tape of abducted Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit is in Hamas’ hands, according to debkafile’s counter-terror sources. His captors threaten to k

They are shown armed in a threatening stance beside Shalit who is dressed in prisoner’s garb. Hamas has this tape in addition to the footage it released Sunday showing BBC correspondent Alan Johnston wearing an explosive belt and warning that it would be detonated in any attempt to free him. Hamas’ military wing promises to release the Shalit tape to mark a full year since he was captured in a cross-border raid from Gaza.
debkafile reports that the tape reached Israel some weeks ago by clandestine routes and is in the hands of intelligence officers dealing with efforts to rescue the missing soldier It was handed to Hamas by the henchmen of the chief of the Army of Islam aka al Qaeda Palestine, Mumtaz Durmush, who are holding both Shalit and Johnston. The two kidnapped men ask for their captors’ demands to be met. The two tapes were clearly made by the same hand.
The efforts made by both the Israeli and British authorities to keep this dark and the two cases separate has worsened their situation. Time is only making Durmush – he now calls himself Abu Muhammad al Ansari – more implacable and improves his standing in the circle of al Qaeda’s Middle East commanders who urge him not to free either prisoner.
Hamas has avoided storming the Muntush compound in the Sabra district of Gaza City so as not to clash directly with al Qaeda’s Gaza network. The Palestinian Islamist group was rewarded Monday, June 25, with a new audio tape from al Qaeda’s No. 2 Ayman Zuwahiri supporting Hamas and its seizure of the Gaza Strip.
This was a diametric reversal. Only last week, al Qaeda released a tape reprimanding Hamas for “daring to monopolize the Israeli Gilead Shalit and seeking a deal with Israel.” Hamas was accused of cutting its partners in the kidnap, a reference to Durmush and his Army of Islam, out of the picture.
Monday saw a complete change of tune: Hamas deserves support “despite all the mistakes of their leadership,” said Zawahiri. A victory for Hamas is a victory for Palestine.”
debkafile‘s al Qaeda experts explain this change of heart by Hamas’ decision to break off its indirect negotiations with Israel for Shalit’s release which were brokered by Egypt. This is bad news for both the BBC reporter and the Israeli soldier. Durmush is supported in his decision not to free the two men at the top al Qaeda level.

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