Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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July 13, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

The Suicide Bomb Squad from Leeds - London Bombers Were British, of Pakistani Origin - Michael Evans, Daniel McGrory, and Stewart Tendler (Times-UK)
    The man who planted the bomb at Edgware Road was Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, from the Leeds area.
    Hasib Hussain, 19, who bombed the bus in Tavistock Square, and Shehzad Tanweer, 22, the Aldgate bomber, both lived in Leeds. The Piccadilly Line bomber is thought to come from Luton.
    Police found a bomb factory in Leeds containing a "viable amount of explosives." Explosives were also recovered from a car left parked near Luton station.
    Police acted after discovering driving licenses and credit cards at the scenes of the explosions.
    At least two of the men had recently returned from Pakistan.
    All four were British, but with origins in Pakistan.
    The four were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras at King's Cross Thameslink station, laughing together and carrying rucksacks, minutes before they set off for their targets at 8:30 am on July 7.

    See also Islamic Jihad Radio Supports London Attacks (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies-Hebrew)

Israel to Boost Intelligence-Sharing with UK (Reuters)
    Prime Minister Sharon intends to boost Israel's intelligence-sharing with Britain after Islamist bombers killed at least 52 people last week in London, a senior Sharon aide said on Tuesday.
    "We can expect our intelligence ties with the British to be tightened now," the aide said

She Fled Israel for "Safety" of London, Boyfriend Heard the Scream as She Died - Sandro Contenta (Toronto Star)
    Anat Rosenberg, 39, was born in Israel but made London her home for most of the past 18 years.
    "She felt safe in London and so she was reluctant to go back to Israel for visits to her parents," said her boyfriend, John Falding.
    On Thursday morning, Rosenberg called Falding to say that the subway station was closed and she had caught the No. 30 bus.
    Then "I heard the most horrendous scream," Falding said, and the phone went dead.

Gaza Closed to Non-Resident Israelis - Amos Harel and Nir Hasson (Ha'aretz)
    Prime Minister Sharon Wednesday ordered the Gaza Strip closed to non-resident Israelis, effectively closing the area until the end of the disengagement.


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  • Palestinian Suicide Bomber Kills Four Women at Israeli Mall - Steven Erlanger and Greg Myre
    A Palestinian suicide bomber exploded Tuesday outside a Netanya shopping mall, killing four women (two were 16 years old) and wounding 90 people. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. A suicide bombing at the mall's entrance in May 2001 killed five Israelis. The bomber was identified as Ahmed Abu Khalil, 18, from a village near Tulkarm on the West Bank, 10 miles east of Netanya. Netanya's mayor, Miriam Fierberg, was a passenger in a car at the intersection at the time of the blast.
        In a separate incident for which Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, and which a senior Israeli military official said was linked to the suicide bombing, a truck laden with gas canisters exploded just inside the main entrance of Shavei Shomron, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank 20 miles east of Netanya. The Palestinian driver, the only injured, was tied to the truck and was freed from the burning vehicle by Israeli security forces. The blast was apparently detonated by remote control. (New York Times)
        Rescuers of the driver found his right hand tied to the steering wheel and a large boulder weighing down the gas pedal. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Netanya Witness: "I Saw Him Blow Up" - Vered Luvitch and Miri Hasson (Ynet News)
        See also Three Generations of a Family Wounded in Netanya Attack - Yuval Azoulay (Ha'aretz)
  • U.S. Condemns Suicide Bombing in Israel, Urges Palestinian Crackdown - David Gollust
    Officials in Washington are acknowledging Israel's right to self-defense following the Netanya attack. The White House condemned Tuesday's suicide bombing in the strongest terms, saying there's no justification for the murder of innocent civilians. Bush spokesman Scott McClellan urged the Palestinian Authority to take action to dismantle terrorist organizations to stop attacks like Tuesday's from happening in the first place. (VOA News)
        See also Rumsfeld: Iran Could Be Behind Israel Bomb Blast
    Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday: "With respect to attacks in Israel, we know that Iran has been on the terrorist list. We know that Iran has been assisting Hizballah and other organizations and moving equipment and people down through Damascus into Beirut and down into positions where they can attack Israel for years and years....Clearly that's been one of the stated and continuous purposes of Iran, is to harm Israel." (Defense Department)
  • Israel to Patrol Northern West Bank After Pullout
    Israel will retain security control of the northern West Bank after it evacuates four isolated Jewish settlements in the area next month, Israel Radio said Tuesday. Israeli officials said the Defense Ministry had recommended to Sharon's security cabinet, which met on Tuesday, that Israeli forces retain security control of territory around the four settlements and keep existing military bases in the area. The radio said the northern West Bank would be designated "Area B," a classification meaning that Israel would be in charge of security in the area. (Reuters)
  • Muslim Man on Trial in Dutch Killing Says He'd Do "Same Again" - Gregory Crouch
    Muhammad Bouyeri, 27, coolly accepted responsibility Tuesday for the brutal slaying of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, adding, "If I'm ever released, I'd do the same again. Exactly the same." Bicycling to work last Nov. 2, Van Gogh was shot at least six times before having his throat cut. The defendant, son of Moroccan immigrants, said he had killed van Gogh based on his religious beliefs. He said his actions were based on "the law that instructs me to chop off the head of everyone who insults Allah or the prophet." (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Israel Reenters Tulkarm: Under PA Control, Town Became Islamic Jihad Refuge - Amos Harel
    Israel Defense Forces Wednesday reentered the West Bank city of Tulkarm. "This operation was mounted in order to carry out pinpoint arrests of the Islamic Jihad terrorists behind the Netanya suicide bombing," a military source said. The town had been formally under PA security control. Military sources say the PA is not doing anything to thwart terror attacks and that Tulkarm has become a refuge for Islamic Jihad. Islamic Jihad militants in and around Tulkarm have been responsible for the deaths of ten Israelis in attacks in the past six months. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has also ordered to halt all talks between Israeli and Palestinian defense officials. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF: No Point Working with Abbas Until He Acts Against Islamic Jihad - Roni Singer
    After the bombing in Netanya and the explosion of the booby-trapped car in the West Bank, senior IDF officers blasted Palestinian leader Abbas, claiming that he was letting the Islamic Jihad "spit in his face" and that his failure to act against the organization was "foolish and dangerous." "The world let Abbas evade the necessary steps after the Stage Club suicide bombing [in February]. He must not repeat that error. There is no point in working with him until he starts acting against the Jihad," one source said. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Netanya Bombing May Be Abbas' Final Test - Aluf Benn (Ha'aretz)
  • Hizballah Gunmen Fire at IDF on Northern Border - David Rudge
    Hizballah terrorists opened fire at an IDF outpost near Rosh Hanikra on Tuesday, military sources reported. An IDF soldier, who spotted the origin of the shooting, returned fire. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Palestinian Responsibility - Editorial
    The Palestinian leadership would have the world believe that it, too, has embarked on a creative enterprise, in contrast to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who seek to destroy Israel through terrorism. But Abbas's refusal to touch, let alone dismantle, the infrastructure of terrorism that he has committed to eliminating destroys that contention. His refusal to act led directly to Tuesday's terror attacks. The lack of inter-Palestinian physical conflict can only suggest a high degree of ideological agreement. Thus, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Palestinian leadership shares the rejectionist creed, which says that the Jewish people has no national rights to independence in this land, and that the only legitimate Palestinian state is one that replaces Israel, not one living in permanent peace alongside us. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also What Abbas Won't Do, Israel Will - Arieh O'Sullivan (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Danger That Lies in Our Midst - Walter Laqueur
    The war against terrorism will not be won in our time in any case. Terrorism is the contemporary form of violent conflict, as major wars have become too costly and conflict won't disappear from the face of the earth in the foreseeable future. Terrorists cannot exist in a vacuum; they need a periphery of helpers. But politicians are reluctant to press the point by strongly admonishing Europe's Muslims to do their civic duty and cooperate in finding the terrorists. As long as it is not generally understood that restrictions and controls will be inevitable in the future to safeguard society from far worse disasters, terrorists will have a (relatively) free run. (Wall Street Journal, 12Jul05)
  • Plan B for Iran - Jeffrey Gedmin
    Iranian President Ahmadinejad calls himself a fundamentalist. He was an officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and by all accounts is a real-deal Islamist. He says he wants Iran to be a great "world power" capable of challenging the U.S. So how should we respond? By now it must be obvious that if the U.S. is serious about preventing the mullahs from getting the bomb, we have two choices: either preemption or regime change. By now it is also pretty clear that bombing would be difficult, which can only make one wonder why we have been so slow in giving serious support to the democracy movement in Iran. This regime has to go.
        The country is ripe for revolution. Iran has a foundering economy, a large, disenchanted youth population, pockets of independent media (including a staggering 64,000 Persian-language blogs), and, of course, the powerful example of developments throughout the region. After Iraq's election last year, photos of Iranians holding up proudly their fingers dipped in blue ink to say, "It's time for us to vote, too!" swept the Internet like wildfire. The secretary of state says Iran is an "outpost of tyranny." George W. Bush says the "Iranian people deserve a genuinely democratic system." There's a strong logic now to marry resources to rhetoric. (Weekly Standard)
  • Observations:

    The Blitz Spirit - Charles Moore (Telegraph-UK)

    • Yes, there was a Blitz spirit. And, yes, the emergency services were magnificent. The strength of a civilization is shown not only in its great monuments and works of art, or in its famous people: it appears also in the instant, instinctive behavior of millions at a moment of crisis. Yet there seems to be a radical disjunction between our heroic capacity to deal with the immediate effects of terrorism and our collective refusal to confront what lies behind it. The effects of this disjunction are, literally, fatal.
    • It is true that the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists, or involved in terrorism, but if people really believe that the words "Islam" and "terrorism" must not be linked, then we have little hope of catching the killers, of understanding how the terrorism works, or of preventing new atrocities.
    • When Britain was afflicted by Irish republican terrorism, most Irish people repudiated that terrorism. It was nevertheless the case that the great majority of the terrorists - more than 95% - were Irish, or of Irish origin, and they drew overwhelmingly on Irish people to help and hide them.
    • An article appeared during our recent election campaign in Muslim Weekly by Sheikh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi. It calls for the replacement of British parliamentary democracy with "a new civilization based on the worship of Allah," attacks the Conservatives for being "in the hands of an illegal Jewish immigrant from Romania," and speaks of the "near-demented judaic banking elite." These views are expressed by an educated Muslim in a Muslim publication.
    • So we have in our midst a religious minority in a state of ferment, and somewhere inside it a number of people who want to kill the rest of us. This country has suffered a greater land-based terrorist death toll than it has ever known before. Instead of subjecting our entire population to the loss of liberties and increase of bureaucratic power which identity cards involve, we should develop a strategy that works out much more precisely where the danger lies, and seeks it out.
    • We all love it when the British people shrug their shoulders and move stoically on in the face of attack. It is a powerful national myth, and a true one. But it contains within it a great danger - a self-fulfilling belief that there is nothing to be done to avert future disaster. That's not the Blitz spirit - what made London's suffering in 1941 worthwhile was that, in the end, we won.

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