Israel’s Destruction Will Come from the East, Says a New Al Qaeda Pamphlet
Although Al Qaeda has waged a war of terror on the Jewish state for 26 years, never before has the jihadist organization laid out in print a detailed operational blueprint for its destruction. This omission was remedied by one of Al Qaeda’s most virulent offshoots, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Shams (ISIS), in a new booklet of 33 pages penned by Abu Al Khattib Al Maqdasi (the Jerusalemite).
This publication, illustrated with maps, documents, pictures and references, highlights Al Qaeda’s next goal after securing control of Syria as being the elimination of the State of Israel.
In DEBKA Weekly 611 of Nov. 15, we first disclosed ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdad’s steps toward founding an al Qaeda state in Iraq (Al-Qaeda-Iraq Presses Forward for First Jihadist State Spanning Mid East borders.)
For this first mission, some Iraqi al Qaeda fighters are being pulled out of Syria – although they are leaving the Syrian wing Jabhat al-Nusra vulnerable to the superior combined strength of the Syrian army and foreign Shiite fighters, including the Lebanese Hizballah.
For the long haul, however, al Nusra and ISIS are destined to fight together for the common goal of conquering Israel.
Rewriting the Bible to suit Al Qaeda’s agenda
To support this goal, the al Qaeda author presents a potted Biblical account of prehistoric Israel rewritten and adapted to its agenda:
The Kingdom of Judah, 930 BCE-586 BCE, was a state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the Southern Kingdom to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel. Judah emerged as a state probably no earlier than the 9th century BCE although there are differences of opinion as to the dating. In the 7th century BCE, Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom.
In 605, the Assyrian Empire was defeated and the ensuing competition between the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt and the Neo-Babylonian Empire for control of the Eastern Mediterranean led to the destruction of the kingdom in a series of campaigns between 597 and 582, the deportation of the Jewish elite of the community and the incorporation of Judah into a province of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
The kingdom of Israel, Modern Mamlekhet Yisra’el, was, according to the Bible, one of the successor states to the older United Monarchy (also often called the Kingdom of Israel). It was thought to exist roughly from the 930s BCE until about the 720s BCE, when the kingdom was conquered by the Assyrian Empire. The major cities of the kingdom were Shechem (today’s Nablus), Tirzah and Shomron-Samaria.
Israel made vulnerable by lack of strategic depth
Al- Maqdasi dug deep into Jewish history to support his thesis that Israel was only ever conquered by armies from Iraq and its forerunners. He blots out the bits of history that counter his contention – like, for instance, Egypt’s occupation of Canaan in the Bronze Age from 1550 to 1200 BCE. In epic battles, Egyptian armies subjugated northern Canaan and took many hostages, but were unable to defeat the Syrians.
Moving up a couple of thousand years, we find Napoleon conquering Palestine in 1799 and the British in 1917, both marching in from Egypt – the opposite direction from Iraq.
The writer goes on to labor his other overriding motif – strategic depth.
The jihadist group, he explains in the new pamphlet, must not pass up the historic opportunity to establish an Islamic state in Iraq and annex Syria for strategic depth.
Israel’s lack of strategic depth makes it vulnerable – a disadvantage that will be exacerbated by a peace accord passing most of the West Bank to the Palestinians, whether or not an Israeli military presence remains in the new state and along the Jordan Valley border to the East.
Securing that border against attack from the perennially hostile “Eastern Front” has been a strategic constant for every Israeli government and military leader, our military sources note. The ISIS master plan homes in on Israel’s vulnerable eastern flank as its Achilles heel.
The Islamic state to cover Iraq, the Levant and historic Israel
In this sense, the ISIS seeks to replicate the Afghan war, in which the American side was placed at a disadvantage by its lack of strategic depth, whereas Al Qaeda and the Taliban benefited from their access to the tribal border region of Pakistan.
The booklet treats the Palestinians with some contempt. The writer has no great opinion of their strength or ability to grasp Al Qaeda’s worldview and thought patterns. The Palestinians may be useful as a fifth column against Israel, but even the Muslim radicals, like Hamas, the Salafis of the Gaza Strip and Israeli Arab extremists, are judged in the al Qaeda booklet as unfit for a place in the ruling elite of the future.
In any case, al Maqdasi, again dipping selectively into history, maintains that Muslim rule over Palestine never sprang from the indigenous population; it was always imposed by foreign conquerors.
Al Qaeda’s conquest of Greater Israel after Iraq and the Levant is therefore all mapped out, using Iraq, Jordan and Syria as springboards.
The modes of operation to be applied are the familiar coordinated terrorist attacks for multiple civilian casualties, strikes on military bases, suicide bombings of strategic targets, hostage-taking and executions.
But there are also two ominous upgrades gained from the Syrian conflict: ISIS has now acquired a missile arm using Scuds captured from the Syrian army and chemical weapons from the same source.