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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
October 23, 2014

In-Depth Issues:

Report: U.S.-Led Airstrikes Killed 464 Islamic State Fighters, 32 Civilians (Reuters)
    Airstrikes in Syria by U.S.-led forces in the past month have killed 464 Islamic State fighters, 57 members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, and 32 civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday.
    See also Syria Claims It Destroyed Jets Seized by ISIS (Reuters)
    Syria's air force has destroyed two of three fighter jets captured by Islamic State militants at an air base in Aleppo province, Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said Tuesday.
    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the planes were being flown by Iraqi pilots from former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime who had joined Islamic State.

AP Headline on Arab Terror Attack: "Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem" - Benji Lovitt (Times of Israel)
    After a Palestinian terrorist drove his car into a crowd of people waiting for a train on Wednesday, killing a three-month-old baby, the Associated Press found it appropriate to report the story with the following headline: Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem. The headline was later changed.

Israel Police Welcomes First Female Druze Police Commander - Daniel Siryoti and Itsik Saban (Israel Hayom)
    Fattan Nasser El-din, 34, on Tuesday became the first Druze policewoman to complete the Israel Police officers' training course.
    Her father, Amal, served as chief superintendent of the Border Police.

Israeli Company Selected as Security Coordinator of Rio 2016 Olympics (Israel Defense)
    The Israeli firm ISDS has been selected to manage and coordinate security at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Israel's Expanding Asia Trade - Ian Bremmer (Politico)
    Since formally establishing diplomatic relations with China in 1992, Israeli-Sino trade has ballooned 220-fold to reach $11 billion last year. China (including Hong Kong) has become the second biggest destination for Israeli exports, after the U.S.; Israel's high-tech exports to China have grown 170% since 2008.
    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently met with Indian Prime Minister Modi at the UN, where they discussed cyberspace and defense collaboration, as well as expanding an economic relationship that stood at $6 billion last year.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Islamist Gunman Kills Soldier in Ottawa, Opens Fire Inside Canadian Parliament - Carol Morello and Mark Berman
    A gunman killed a Canadian honor guard soldier at a war memorial in Ottawa and then opened fire inside the nearby Parliament building on Wednesday. The gunman was identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, from Montreal, a convert to Islam known as Abdullah Zehaf-Bibeau. He had recently been designated a "high-risk traveler" by the Canadian government and had his passport seized, the Globe and Mail reported. The gunman was killed by the sergeant-at-arms in Parliament, a veteran police officer.
        On Monday a radicalized Canadian convert to Islam struck two members of the Canadian military with his car in a Quebec parking lot, killing one of them. (Washington Post)
  • Irish Senate Calls for Recognition of Palestinian State
    Ireland's upper house of parliament on Wednesday passed a motion calling on the Dublin government to recognize the state of Palestine, in a symbolic move that is unlikely to change policy. The motion, initiated by an opposition lawmaker in the upper house, which has little real power, passed without a vote. (AFP)
  • Palestinians Downbeat on Rebuilding of Gaza - Nidal al-Mughrabi and Noah Browning
    The first torrential downpour of an approaching winter has soaked Gaza, compounding the misery of thousands of Palestinians whose homes were wrecked in the summer war with Israel. The flow of building material will largely depend on whether the Palestinian Authority extends its writ to Gaza, now run by Hamas. Local businessmen say a mechanism agreed by the UN, Israel and the Palestinians for construction materials to move into Gaza remains vague and plagued by red tape. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Baby Killed, 7 Hurt in Jerusalem Terror Attack - Noam Dvir
    Three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, an American citizen, was killed and seven other people were wounded Wednesday when a Palestinian plowed his car into a crowd at a Jerusalem light rail station. The driver, Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi, who had a record of security-related offenses, was shot and killed by police. (Ynet News)
        See also Video of Terror Attack in Jerusalem (Ynet News)
        See also Hit-and-Run Terrorist Was Staunch Hamas Supporter - Stuart Winer
    The Palestinian who drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians in Jerusalem on Wednesday was the nephew of a top Hamas commander, and had posted multiple messages on the internet supporting Hamas and Palestinian terror groups, including suicide attackers. (Times of Israel)
  • Two IDF Soldiers Wounded by Drug Smugglers at Egyptian Border - Yaakov Lappin
    An IDF jeep on a routine security patrol near the Egyptian border came under fire from drug smugglers on Wednesday, wounding two soldiers. IDF units killed at least three smugglers with return fire. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Female IDF Officer Wounded in Border Clash - Roi Kais
    After spotting suspicious figures on the Egyptian side of the border, close to the security fence, Captain Or Ben Yehuda, a company commander from the Caracal Battalion, arrived at the scene. When smugglers opened fire at her from three different locations, Ben Yehuda returned fire, despite sustaining wounds to her upper body. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Terror in Ottawa - Editorial
    In 2006 Canadian security officials arrested 18 Canadian jihadists who had been plotting a terrorist spectacular against multiple targets, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Ottawa Parliament and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In April 2013, Canadian police charged two men with a plot to derail a passenger train. The pair had connections to an al-Qaeda cell based in Iran. In July, two converts to Islam were arrested plotting to bomb the British Columbia provincial legislature in Victoria using pressure-cooker bombs. On Monday, another convert struck and murdered a soldier with his car at a Montreal mall.
        On Oct. 8, Canada's National Post reported that Canadian security officials were "investigating 63 national security cases linked to terrorism and involving 90 suspects." The war now being half-heartedly waged against ISIS and other jihadist groups is not some faraway struggle, but part of a war also being waged on Western streets. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Terrorism Threat to Canada - Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi
    According to data from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), more than 130 Canadian citizens have left the country to join terror organizations in other countries, including the Islamic State, and about 80 of these individuals have returned to Canada. The long list of Canadian terrorists indicates the seriousness of the country's domestic terror threat, which is fed by the trend of Islamic radicalization and by the role of the Islamic State as a source of authority and inspiration for many Canadian Muslims.
        Recently the caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, conveyed detailed instructions for Muslims in Canada and other countries that are part of the anti-Islamic State military coalition to act immediately and in any fashion possible to kill "nonbelievers."  (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The Islamic Republic and Islamic State - Yariv Levin
    Some have considered the idea of creating an alliance with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the fight against the radical extremists of the Islamic State. There has even been talk of loosening the Western world's opposition to Iran's nuclear weapons program in order to encourage cooperation. Such a move would be a mistake of historic proportions.
        Iran is no different than Islamic State. This is true with respect to Iran's ultimate ambitions as well as with respect to Iran's attitude to human rights. The ambition of both Iran and the IS is wide territorial expansion. The only difference between the Islamic Republic and Islamic State is that one fights in the name of the Shi'ite Muslims while the other fights in the name of the Sunni Muslims.
        The rise of the IS should not turn the world's attention away from Iran. Rather, it should highlight to the world how dangerous radical Islam would be if armed with nuclear weapons. The writer is chairman of the Intelligence Subcommittee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. (Jerusalem Post)

The Risks of Israeli Withdrawal from the West Bank - Col. Richard Kemp (Gatestone Institute)

  • During the last round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations involving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, American General John Allen drew up a plan to withdraw Israeli forces from the West Bank and hand over Israel's forward defense to a combination of Palestinian Arab forces, international monitors and technology.
  • Given the range of existential threats emanating from, or through, the West Bank today, known and unknown threats that will develop tomorrow, and the exceptional geographical vulnerability of the State of Israel, such a proposal is blatantly untenable. No other country would take risks with the lives of its people and the integrity of its territory by contracting out their defenses in this way - nor should it.
  • General Allen is now leading the American and allied forward defensive operations against the Islamic State. In the face of what he has defined as a "clear and present danger to the U.S.," he is not recommending withdrawal of American forces back into the continental United States and reliance on Arab forces, peacekeepers and technology to protect U.S. interests. The reverse, in fact, is true.
  • The forward defensive measures necessary for other Western nations are necessary for Israel as well. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank - either now or at any point in the foreseeable future.
  • Through incessant rocket fire and the construction of a sophisticated tunnel system to abduct and massacre Israeli civilians on a large scale, Hamas in Gaza has just delivered another powerful object lesson in the consequences of an IDF withdrawal.

    The writer was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan.

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