Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

February 6, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Background: Iraqi Biological Weapons Target Israel - Richard Butler, former UNSCOM Executive Chairman

    In one of my private conversations with Tariq Aziz, he chose to tell me, not as a result of any questioning by me, that Iraq had developed biological weapons - to deal with the Zionist entity. He could not say the word "Israel."
    He made very clear that the justification for Iraq's manufacturing of biological weapons was to deal with the Jews. It was a statement of a genocidal character. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)


Islamic Jihad Planned Election Day Bombings - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)

    The IDF and the Shin Bet security service foiled several attempted terror attacks on election day last week.
    The most ambitious was a plan by an Islamic Jihad cell in Jenin to blow up four booby-trapped cars at different locations inside Israel at the same time.
    When information about it reached the Shin Bet, an IDF force, assisted by an undercover Border Police unit, entered Jenin to capture the terrorists early in the morning of election day (January 28).
    In the ensuing gunfight, four armed Palestinians were killed, including Yusuf Sa'ada, who had been running the cell for the last month after the IDF killed or arrested several of his predecessors.
    The security forces also located the four booby-trapped cars near the Casbah.


Arafat Blocks Aid Appeal to Jordan - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)

    When the heads of 22 West Bank unions and organizations sent a petition to King Abdullah II last month asking for financial assistance, Arafat threatened to jail those involved, fearing the restoration of Jordan's historic ties with the area.
    When the PA first took control of the territories, it cracked down on the pro-Jordan lobby in the West Bank, imprisoning several Palestinians affiliated with Jordan.
     The pro-Jordanian daily An-Nahar, published in Jerusalem, was forced to close down after its reporters and editors were harassed and threatened by PA security officials.


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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Powell Discloses Enhanced Threat to Israel; Iraq Moved Missiles and Biological Warheads to Western Iraq Last Fall
    "While we were here in this council chamber debating Resolution 1441 last fall, we know from sources that a missile brigade outside Baghdad was dispersing rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agents...to various locations in western Iraq," Secretary of State Powell told the UN. "Most of the launchers and warheads have been hidden in large groves of palm trees and were to be moved every one to four weeks to escape detection." (State Department)
        For more revelations directly affecting Israel, see Talking Points below.
  • Piling Up the Evidence Against Iraq
    Secretary of State Powell Wednesday made a comprehensive and detailed case to the UN to demonstrate a pattern of Iraqi deceit. He provided new details about Iraq's effort to develop mobile laboratories to make germ weapons. He asserted that Iraq has sought to hide missiles in its western desert. Significantly, he cited intelligence reports that Saddam Hussein has authorized his military to use poison gas if the U.S. invades. (New York Times)
        Powell Briefing: Key Points (BBC)
        Powell Briefing: Full Text (State Department)
        Powell's UN Slide Presentation (The Age - Melbourne)
  • Powell: Al Qaeda Cell Operating from Baghdad
    Powell set forth evidence of a well-developed al Qaeda cell operating out of Baghdad that was responsible for the assassination of American diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman, Jordan, last October. The network has operated for the last eight months under the supervision of Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, Powell said.
        Following the murder of Foley, a deputy to Zarqawi, who was driving across northern Iraq to the Turkish and Syrian frontiers, used his satellite phone to call the murderers to congratulate them and to tell them he was on his way to meet with them. Western intelligence detected the satellite phone signal and tracked the operative to Syria and then into Turkey, where he was arrested and turned over to the CIA for interrogation.
        The network has over 100 operatives and was planning terrorist attacks in a half dozen European countries, Mr. Powell said, adding that recent police raids in France and Britain stem from the disruption of the Iraq-based network. (New York Times)
  • Turkey to Back U.S. War Plans
    Turkey's prime minister said Wednesday that his government would ask parliament later this month to allow American troops to use the country in event of a war with Iraq, marking the first time the government has publicly declared its intentions to back American war plans. The prime minister, Abdullah Gul, told a gathering of Turkish reporters that his government had all but given up on diplomatic efforts to disarm Iraq and had decided to join the U.S. in its plans to confront Iraq by military means. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • 2 IDF Soldiers Killed near Nablus - Amos Harel
    Two IDF paratroopers, 2nd Lt. Amir Ben-Aryeh, 21, and Staff Sgt. Idan Suzin, 20, were killed when terrorists attacked their position near Nablus. Palestinian sources said the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Yasser Arafat's Fatah-Tanzim claimed responsibility for the attack. (Ha'aretz)
  • Lebanon Beefing Up Its Presence in South - Daniel Sobelman
    In the past month, the Lebanese army and intelligence have stepped up their supervision and control of south Lebanon, as part of preventive measures against both unauthorized acts by Palestinian organizations in the south and Israeli retaliation. Roadblocks have been set up and citizens wishing to reach areas near the border fence with Israel are stopped and questioned. The Lebanese army set up obstacles and trenches in the roads leading from the border to make it difficult for Israel to act in Lebanon, and for Palestinian elements to operate in the south in a way that would endanger Lebanon by exposing it to harsh Israeli countermeasures. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Actions Save Hundreds of Lives
    Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad said Thursday, "If the IDF and the security services were not actively foiling attacks as they are today, then hundreds of Israelis would be killed every month. The IDF stops homicide bombers daily and each one has the potential to kill 15-20 people." (Israel Radio)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • "Irrefutable and Undeniable" - William Safire
    It isn't the crime that gets you - it's the cover-up. Defenders of Saddam Hussein demanded absolute smoking-gun proof of illegal Iraqi possession of terror weaponry. Contrary to UN Resolution 1441, which demanded active Iraqi cooperation in demonstrating disarmament, Saddam's protectors place the burden of proof on the U.S. To their surprise, Colin Powell made the case, with a half-dozen smoking guns, of a huge Iraqi cover-up. In criminal law, that obstruction of justice would be called hiding incriminating evidence, spying on law enforcement officials, and intimidating witnesses. (New York Times)
  • Reforming the Arab Stand: The Saudi Initiative - Simon Henderson
    The Saudi government published what it described as a "Charter to Reform the Arab Stand," a proposal viewed by many as part of the Saudi diplomatic effort to prevent the United States from going to war against Saddam Hussein. Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, a major player, met in Tunisia recently with his counterparts from other Arab countries, at one point presenting an award to Iraqi interior minister Mohammed Dhiab al-Ahmed, a key figure in Saddam's security structure. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
        See also The Saudi Initiative to End Saddam's Rule - Scott Macleod
    The key mechanism in the Saudi formula is an offer of amnesty to Iraqi officials and military officers who demonstrate their readiness to cooperate with the UN by revealing information on arms concealment. (Time)
  • Talking Points:

    Revelations in the Powell UN Speech of Particular Interest to Israel
    (State Department)

    • While inspectors destroyed most of the prohibited ballistic missiles, numerous intelligence reports over the past decade from sources inside Iraq indicate that Saddam Hussein retains a covert force of up to a few dozen Scud-variant ballistic missiles. These are missiles with a range of 650 to 900 kilometers.
    • Iraq has programs that are intended to produce ballistic missiles that fly over 1,000 kilometers. One program is pursuing a liquid fuel missile that would be able to fly more than 1,200 kilometers. And you can see from this map, as well as I can, who will be in danger of these missiles. Iraq has built an engine test stand that is clearly intended for long-range missiles that can fly 1,200 kilometers.
    • Iraq has been working on a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for more than a decade. We detected one of Iraq's newest UAVs in a test flight that went 500 kilometers nonstop on autopilot, well in excess of the 150 kilometers that the UN permits. Iraq could use these small UAVs to deliver biological agents to its neighbors or, if transported to other countries, including the United States.
    • Hamas opened an office in Baghdad in 1999 and Iraq has hosted conferences attended by Palestine Islamic Jihad. These groups are at the forefront of sponsoring suicide attacks against Israel.


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