Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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July 14, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

Fatah Still Responsible for Most Terror Attacks (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies)
    Since the Sharon-Abu Mazen summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in February, Abu Mazen's Fatah group has been responsible for 45% of the continuing Palestinian terror attacks, with Hamas responsible for 27% and Islamic Jihad 24%.

U.S. Won't Help Pay Settler Compensation - Ran Dagoni (Globes)
    U.S. aid for implementing the disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria will be channeled only toward covering the cost of moving IDF bases to within the "green line," and for specific projects in the Negev and Galilee.
    The U.S. will not provide and Israel will not ask for aid for financing civilian aspects of the disengagement plan and compensation for settlers, Israeli sources said.

Cash Injection into Gaza No Easy Fix - Harvey Morris (Financial Times-UK)
    The outside world has been spending about $1b a year on Gaza since 2000.
    Leaders of the G8 countries announced last week that they supported a global financial contribution to the Palestinians of up to $3b annually over the next three years.
    However, some Palestinian analysts warn that the proposed aid package may turn out to be good money chasing bad.
    The PA is seeking a chief executive officer for a new $100m private investment fund for projects in Gaza.
    Palestinian economists also hope the economy will be able to tap into $60b of private capital held by Palestinians abroad.

Saddam's Secret Police Still Active - Michael Georgy (Reuters/ Washington Post)
    Iraqis say Saddam Hussein's old Mukhabarat secret police have created a new "republic of fear" two years after his downfall.
    Operating with ruthless efficiency, former Baathist agents are hunting down those who work for, or even voice support for, the new U.S.-backed government, say security experts.
    "Iraqis know that Saddam's people are still very active and are watching everyone," said Abbas, a Baghdad police officer.
    Hundreds of officials and security personnel in the new administration have been killed in often sophisticated attacks.

400 New North American Immigrants Land in Israel - Yitzhak Benhorin and Miri Chason (Ynet News)
    Some 250 immigrants arrived in Israel Wednesday on a flight from New York and another 150 from Toronto, and were met by Prime Minister Sharon at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
    The Nefesh B'Nefesh organization and the Jewish Agency bring approximately 2,000 new immigrants a year to Israel from North America.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • British Police Seek Suspected Ringleader of Bomb Attacks - Alan Cowell
    British investigators have mounted a manhunt for the suspected bomb maker in the London attacks, a man seen on a videotape with four suspected bombers last Thursday at the Luton train station. The four suspected bombers are seen leaving for a London-bound train, but the fifth man stays behind. (New York Times)
        See also below Observations: Perpetrators of the London Bombing
  • U.S. to Syria: End Support for Terror
    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Wednesday demanded Syria end support for Islamic Jihad, the group blamed for Tuesday's deadly bombing in Israel that killed five Israelis. "It is essential that the Syrian government end its support for terrorist organizations, particularly those who are headquartered and harbored in Damascus," she said. (UPI)
  • U.S. Jury Sees Video of Islamic Jihad Leader Al-Arian
    Jurors on Tuesday saw a dramatic video of former professor Sami Al-Arian saying God ''commands us to jihad, because there is honor'' in holy war. In the video, filmed at an April 7, 1991, conference in Cleveland, Al-Arian is introduced as the president of the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP), which is then described as "the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.'' Al-Arian also warned his listeners at the meeting against taking Christians or Jews as friends. (AP/Miami Herald)
        See also Virginia Muslim Spiritual Leader Gets Life in Prison - Jerry Markon
    Ali Timimi, a prominent Muslim spiritual leader convicted for statements that prosecutors said incited his followers to train for violent jihad against the U.S., was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Alexandria. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she had no choice under congressionally mandated minimum sentencing requirements. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg said Timimi "deserves every day of the time he will serve....Timimi hates the United States and calls for its destruction."  (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Palestinians Shell Israel, Gaza
    Palestinian gunners Thursday fired a Kassam rocket at a college near the Israeli Negev town of Sderot, breaking windows and damaging buildings, Israel Radio reported. Palestinians also fired a mortar shell that struck the house of David Hatuel of the Katif settlement in Gaza. Hatuel's wife and four daughters were murdered in a terror ambush last year. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Kills Jihad Fugitive in Nablus - Arieh O'Sullivan
    Israeli soldiers shot and killed high-ranking Islamic Jihad fugitive Mohammed Aassi, 28, after he attempted to escape arrest in Nablus on Thursday, according to Army Radio. Aassi was responsible for coordination between West Bank Islamic Jihad cells and the organization's headquarters in Damascus, and was linked to numerous terror attacks against Israel.
        The army rejected claims that Aassi was in the company of a British journalist at the time of the arrest, saying the British woman was an activist who gave refuge to fugitives in her home. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Bomb Explodes Near Bus in West Bank
    A bomb was detonated outside an Israeli bus near Ofra north of Jerusalem in the Binyamin region of the West Bank. No one was wounded in the attack, but damage was caused to the bus, Israel Radio reported. (Jerusalem Post)
  • European Aid Workers Kidnapped, Released in Gaza - Ali Waked
    Armed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip kidnapped two European aid workers - one British and one Austrian - on Wednesday, and demanded that the PA execute a death sentence imposed on the murderer of one of the kidnappers' relatives in exchange for the hostages. Heavy pressure by the PA and the British government resulted in the aid workers' release. (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Jihadists and Palestinians - Editorial
    Mahmoud Abbas has pursued a policy toward rejectionist organizations that is strikingly similar to the approach pursued by Arafat following the 1993 Oslo Accords. Instead of using force against those organizations that remained committed to terror, Palestinian leaders embarked on what amounted to a plan to beg the terrorists to behave themselves. Until and unless Abbas can be persuaded to get serious about confronting the rejectionists, Israel has no functioning peace partner on the Palestinian side. (Washington Times)
  • Plea from an Iranian Political Prisoner
    The London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat published a letter by Iranian political prisoner Akbar Ganji, which was smuggled out of his solitary confinement cell. Ganji, an Iranian journalist who has published articles and a book that hint at senior Iranian officials' involvement in the 1998 assassinations of Iranian intellectual dissidents, has been in prison since 2001. (MEMRI)
        See also President Bush Calls for Release of Iranian Prisoner Akbar Ganji (White House)
  • Little Incentive to Nab Bin Laden - Ahmed Rashid
    Vice President Dick Cheney and CIA Director Porter Goss have said they know where bin Laden is and that he is not in Afghanistan - implying he is in Pakistan. Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. ambassador to Kabul who is now the U.S envoy in Baghdad, has been more blunt and said that bin Laden is in Pakistan. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's army has captured 500 al-Qaeda militants and handed them over to the U.S., and has lost more than 500 soldiers fighting al-Qaeda in the rugged tribal areas. But the reality is that Musharraf has little incentive to catch bin Laden - and it may even be in the military's interest to keep him alive.
        Pakistan's military fears that its alliance with the U.S. is a short-term one, based on cooperating in the war on terrorism, while Washington's long-term ally in the region is India, Pakistan's rival, with which the U.S. signed a 10-year strategic defense pact on June 29. According to this logic, America cannot dump Pakistan as long as the war on terrorism continues and bin Laden remains to be captured. (International Herald Tribune)
  • Observations:

    Perpetrators of the London Bombing

    • British Attacker "Recruited" at Terror Group's Religious School - Gethin Chamberlain
      Security sources in Pakistan are investigating if British suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer attended a religious school run by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) during a recent visit to the country. The group's founder has publicly stated that he believes suicide bombing to be the "best form of jihad [holy war]." LeT also operates under the name Jamaat ud-Daawa (the party of preaching), has close ties with al-Qaeda, and has access to munitions and safe houses. Abu Zubaydah, a senior al-Qaeda lieutenant, was seized in an LeT safe house in Faisalabad in March 2002. The group has also been linked with Hamas and Jemaah Islamiyyah, and Indian security forces believe it is playing a significant role in channelling militants into Iraq.
          Saudi wealth and charities contributed to an explosive growth of such religious schools, concerned less with scholarship than with making war on infidels. These new madrassas now teach Wahhabism, a rigid expression of Islam that promotes fundamentalist readings of the Koran. (Scotsman-UK)
    • Pakistan Said to Have Warned London - Jay Solomon and Zahid Hussain
      Pakistani law-enforcement officials said they gave a number of warnings to London and Washington in recent months about the possibility of al-Qaeda targeting UK mass-transit systems. Much of this information came from the May arrest and interrogation in Pakistan of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, described by U.S. officials as one of al-Qaeda's top three commanders. (Wall Street Journal, 14Jul05)
    • British Bomber Found Religion after Saudi Pilgrimage - Lizette Alvarez
      Hasib Hussain, 18, was the impressionable one, a charming young man who had been drifting into a reckless teenage life until religion set him straight. About 18 months ago he went on the hajj to Saudi Arabia, neighbors said, and returned a changed person, less aggressive and keenly interested in religion. He, too, went to Pakistan, the BBC reported. The adults around him, who had been concerned that he was veering out of control, seemed pleased at the change. (New York Times)
    • London: The Pakistani Connection - Stephen Schwartz
      The identification of British-born Muslims of Pakistani origin as the perpetrators of the London atrocity comes as no surprise to those who have been paying attention to these matters. Pakistan produced the Jama'at-i-Islami (Community of Islam) movement, founded by Abu'l Ala Mawdudi, a theologian who died in 1979. Known as Jamaatis, the followers of Mawdudi have attained exceptional influence in the Pakistani army and intelligence services, and were a key element in the Pakistani-Saudi alliance to support the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
          Differences between the Jamaatis and Wahhabism, the state religion in Saudi Arabia, are secondary; mainly, the Saudi Wahhabis hold to a deceptive alliance with the Western powers, while the Jamaatis were always frontally anti-Western. The Jamaatis study in Saudi Arabia and share with the Wahhabis a murderous hatred of Muslims who do not conform to their ideology, considering those who reject their teachings to be apostates from Islam. Pakistan has very few energy resources, and the Saudis have used cheap oil to support Wahhabi infiltration. (Weekly Standard)

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