Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Al-Qaeda behind Eilat terror attacks?

The Washington Times' Eli Lake reports that the US believes that al-Qaeda may have been behind last Thursday's coordinated terror attacks north of Eilat.
A U.S. government assessment of the incident Thursday concludes that either the Palestinian group Popular Resistance Committees or the Gaza-based Army of Islam (or Jaish al Islam), a Palestinian group sympathetic to al Qaeda, carried out the commando assault and bombing raid that emanated from the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula.

One intelligence official who focuses on al Qaeda said an initial assessment identified a new group, al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula, as a key perpetrator of the attack.


One intelligence official who focuses on al Qaeda said the majority of all source intelligence points to al Qaeda.

The Popular Resistance Committees group, formed in 2000 and operated out of Gaza, has at times aligned with Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist group that is the sovereign of Gaza.

Over the weekend, however, as more information was gathered about the attack near Eilat, some Israeli official sources also began to acknowledge that a group known as Jaish al Islam, an extremist Muslim organization, also played a role in the attack.

If confirmed, the involvement of a new Sinai-based al Qaeda group would be yet another extremist group aligned with the goals of the terrorist group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that spawned more formal affiliates in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan and North Africa.

One of the intelligence officials said the recent attack also highlighted how Egypt's military government is losing control of the Sinai Peninsula, the strategically important territory that Israel captured from Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War and then returned to Egyptian control after the two states signed the Camp David Accords in 1979.


The intelligence official who said there are signs of a new Sinai-based group said initial assessments indicated the Popular Resistance Committees‘ role was limited to providing advance scouting of locations for the attack.

“PRC was clearly involved, [but] they were not the brains or the brawn of the operation. They were the scouts,” the official said. “Because the PRC squawked after the operation, they became an immediate target. It is not an unjustifiable reaction.”

A U.S. counterterrorism official said initial U.S. reports on the attack also blamed al Qaeda in the Sinai. This official also said the U.S. government had no information to suggest al Qaeda’s core leadership - thought to be based in Pakistan - ordered or supported the attack.
The Sinai is apparently becoming another Afghanistan or Pakistan. What could go wrong?

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home