Al-Qaeda's Mideast Linkage

(Washington Times) Herbert London - Immediately after September 11, 2001, not only Hamas approached al-Qaeda, but Arafat's own forces, Al Aqsa Brigades, did so too. Although rarely reported in the West, al-Qaeda now operates in the West Bank and Gaza at Arafat's expressed invitation, and with substantial logistical support. According to authoritative Israeli intelligence sources, Arafat assembled under his wing Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hizballah, Jibril's Popular Front, Iraqi military intelligence units (Palestinian terrorists were always close to Saddam, even sending Palestine Liberation Army units to help torture Kuwaitis in 1991), the pro-Iraqi Arab liberation Front, and, since April 2002, al-Qaeda. The same Israeli sources believe the same crosscut of Islamic terrorist groups exists in the U.S. - though at the moment "only" as sleeper cells. The writer is president of the Hudson Institute.

2004-10-18 00:00:00

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