Mystery Woman Suicide Blasts Jerusalem Main Street
Noon Sunday, January 27, after Yasser Arafat declared publicly that “one million martyrs are on their way to Jerusalem”, the first woman suicide bomber detonated a massively powerful bomb-belt in the middle of the road on Jerusalem’s busy Jaffa Street. The blast went up at the same place that a Palestinian gunman killed two women and wounded 49 five days earlier. It was violent enough to blow out 70 shop and office windows, severely damage their interiors and blacken facades the length of the street. Flying glass, shrapnel and sharp nails sent the number of injured on the crowded thoroughfare soaring. Pinhas Tokatly, 81, fifth generation Jerusalemite, was killed outright and more than 160 people hospitalized, including two policemen on patrol.
Last August, another Palestinian suicide blasted a pizzeria round the corner, killing 15 civilians.
Several hours after the attack, no Palestinian group had claimed responsibility.
Two days earlier, on Friday, a 17-year old suicide bomber, on a joint mission for Arafat’s Tanzim and the Jihad Islami, blew up a nail-packed bomb in a pedestrian shopping mall, injuring 25.
debkafile‘s military counter-terror experts believe the most urgent task facing Israeli intelligence is to identity the woman who blew herself up in Jerusalem. The Hizballah TV station Al Manar identified her as a young 20-year old Palestinian student at Nablus al Najah University called Shahinez al-Souri. Palestinian sources proudly named her the first Palestinian woman suicide. However, no one in Nablus or at the deeply religious university has ever heard of her. Anyway, Islamic religious sages prohibit female martyrs.
The hypothesis under examination in the initial stages of the inquiry is that the woman came from outside the country, from Lebanon, Turkey or Greece, on a mission for some external agency, with orders to collect her bomb-belt from a Palestinian source.
debkafile‘s counter-terror experts postulate four possible agencies:
A. The Lebanese Hizballah.
B. Imad Mughniyeh, the veteran Lebanese-Iranian arch-terrorist, who organized the kidnap of three Israeli soldiers in October 2001and the clandestine sea route that sent the Karine-A smuggling vessel on its way to the Palestinians. Mughniyeh has employed women before, some Iranian, in his intelligence and terror networks.
C. Yasser Arafat’s sleeper terror rings in West Europe, never activated in the current conflict and as dangerous as Mughniyeh’s operation.
D. Iraqi military intelligence.
If the mystery bomber gained entry to Israel through a security gap, she may not be the only one. More unidentified foreign terrorists may follow.
Some experts pose a counter-hypothesis, hinging on Arafat’s million martyrs boast: In Islamic terms, the Algerian liberation war against France in the 1950s became known as the War of the Million Martyrs. By using this epithet, Arafat is promising the Palestinians they will triumph over the Israelis, just as the Algerians defeated France. Women were active in the Algerian War. Furthermore, according debkafile‘s counter-terror experts, Algerian war veterans work for Arafat’s covert cells in Europe.
The al Manar broadcast identifying the suicide bomber as Shahinez al-Souri also recalls Lebanon’s terror heyday in the 1970s and early 1980s. A small, obscure terror group operating at that time was the sinister Syrian Socialist National Party, SSNP. Behind its fascist front, this group was an intelligence-terror proxy for the most violent and savage Middle East organizations in the business. As such, it executed the 1983 US embassy bombing in Beirut. Among the bodies it represented were ex-Algerians who moved into Arafat’s European networks and elements of Imad Mughniyeh’s organization. One of its specialties was the blackmail of women with guilty secrets who were paid well to carry out terror assignments. Some of these female assassins were caught in South Lebanon staging attacks on Israeli troops then occupying this buffer zone, or on members of the allied South Lebanese Army.
SLA commander Antoine Lahd barely escaped with his life from an attack by one of these female terrorists who caught him off-guard after spending months in his home as a domestic.
The name al-Souri is not a Palestinian name, indicating the bomber’s origin from a village called Sour or even the Lebanese coastal town of Tyre. Sunday’s suicide attack in Jerusalem may therefore presage the re-activation of the SSNP, in conjunction with Mughniyeh and Arafat.
Arafat’s million martyrs declaration may signify his willingness to sacrifice the entire Palestinian people for the sake of his jihad. After sending children to their deaths, he would have no compunctions about sacrificing women to make martyrs of the entire Palestinian people.
In his latest briefing to the government in Jerusalem, Israeli military intelligence commander, Maj.-Gen. Aharon Zeevi said Sunday that Arafat has given the green light to his Tanzim and every other group willing to launch spectacular terror attacks inside Israel.
The Palestinian leader is deep in the process of harnessing outside forces to his all-out terror campaign against Israel. Arresting his headlong rampage of violence requires a decision that can only be taken in Washington.