Israel strike in Gaza kills Al Qaeda-linked Army of Islam chiefs
Just two weeks after Mohammed Namnam was killed in a combined Israel-US-Egyptian targeted assassination in Gaza City, an Israeli airborne missile struck again Wednesday, Nov. 17, and killed two more commanders of the Al Qaeda-linked Army of Islam. debkafile's counter-terror sources name them as brothers, Islam Yasin and Muhammad Yasin. They were in the middle for preparations for a new wave of terrorist attacks in Sinai aimed at hitting US military targets and kidnapping Israelis vacationing in Sinai for ransom in Gaza.
Our military sources add that the Israeli missile hit the Subaru car in which they drove in the center of Gaza City. That the preparations continued after Namnam's death is a measure of Al Qaeda's determination to bring its plans forward. The Yasin brothers worked according to the original plan which was due for imminent execution – only adding more targets. They were plotting to abduct Israeli holidaymakers in Sinai and spirit them to the Gaza Strip through Hamas's arms smuggling tunnels. Our sources note that the Army of Islam also took part in Hamas's abduction of Gilead Shalit more than four years ago.
Israeli travelers in Sinai are warned they are still in danger and advised to leave.
The plot included an attack on the Multinational Force and Observers North Base base under US command at El Gorah, 37 kilometers southeast of the Sinai port of El Arish.
The plot was revealed during the interrogation of 25 Army of Islam accomplices captured by Egyptian intelligence units at Sheikh Zuwayid in North Sinai. The high number of helpers points to the large scale of attacks the Al Qaeda-linked terrorists were planning.
In another counter-terror operation on the West Bank Wednesday, Palestinian Authority security forces in Nablus rolled up a Hamas terrorist network, whose members were getting ready for a series of suicide attacks.
debkafile's sources report that, contrary to other reports, this network had not targeted Jerusalem but had rigged a suicide bomb-car for the assassination of the Palestinian governor of the city Jibril Baker.
This attack was to have kicked off Hamas' operations against the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank.