It's a good thing Raed Attar is dead
You might recall that on August 21, Israel eliminated three senior Hamas commanders, one of whom, Raed al-Attar
, is pictured above with Gilad Shalit just before Shalit's October 2011 release. It turns out that Attar was a ticking time bomb. Israel's Channel 2 reports that eliminating Attar prevented a deadly paraglider attack
that Attar had been planning.
“It could have ended in disaster,” a senior Shin Bet (Israel Security
Agency – ISA) offical said of the combined IDF-ISA air strike in Rafah
on August 21st that killed Raed Attar, along with Muhammad Abu Shamalah
and Muhammed Barhoum.
“Attar’s assassination has disrupted everything,” the official said
of the Izzadin al-Kassam chief, who set up a 15-member paragliding squad
four years ago.
“Attar and Rafa Salamah (Attar’s aide) made sure to send us to
Malaysia to practice paragliding. We went through tunnels from Sinai to
Cairo and then took a flight to Malaysia,” cell leader Mohammad Kadara,
28, confessed to Israeli interrogators, after his capture during
Operation Protective Edge.
“We practiced in Malaysia for a week on motorized paragliders, and were trained by local instructors,” Kadara said.
The paragliding unit established by Hamas’s military wing was
supposed to be the icing on the cake in terms of the organization’s
military operations, which were looking for any way to surprise the IDF.
“The plans was to cross the border into Israel with a paraglider,
reach an IDF post or settlement near the border, shoot at soldiers and
civilians and kill as many Israelis as possible,” Kadara said.
“It’s vitally important that you succeed in carrying out the
mission,” Attar told the cell members. “I’ll let you know when you go
off and perform the operation,” Attar told them. “It is important for
you to be ready at any moment to beat the Zionist enemy.”
Kadara later revealed how he commanded a suicide bombing unit.
“Our goal was to wait for the soldiers to attack tunnels, and then carry out suicide attacks,” Kadara said.
“Before I joined the operation in the Gaza Strip, I passed sniper
training, and learned how to fire rockets and mortars,” he told
investigators. “I got paid $300 per month for my activity, and practiced
firing rockets at an IDF jeep and how to kidnap soldiers.”
Kadara also explained how two attack tunnels were built under an olive grove, that crossed the border into Israel.
“Our goal was to ambush the soldiers who would come to the scene,
shoot them and detonate bombs. We planned to abduct soldiers and deliver
them through the tunnels. We were two weeks in a tunnel with food:
cartons of dates, bread and water. We were kept confidential, and were
told not to reveal our activities to anyone,” he said. “An operative
would update our families that we were all right.”
IDF troops captured Kadara, and seven cohorts in a firefight,
according to the Shin Bet, and the IDF Prosecutor recently filed charges
against the suspects in the Southern District Court in Beersheba.
The paragliding story has been reported before
(albeit without naming the terrorist). The connection to al-Attar has not. Hmmm.
Labels: Gaza, Hamas, IDF, Operation Protective Edge, paragliding, Shin Bet