Hamas and Al-Qaeda: The Terror Trail

(Jerusalem Post) Dore Gold - In February 2003, an IDF unit in Gaza went into the Dar al-Arqam school, created by the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Among the texts found for teaching the next generation of Palestinians were the writings of famous Saudi Wahhabi religious authorities, among them Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Fahd, the author of a religious ruling justifying the use of weapons of mass destruction against infidels (i.e., Christians and Jews). There was also Sheikh Sulaiman bin Nasser al-Ulwan, whose name was featured in a famous bin Laden video clip from December 2001, when the al-Qaeda leader re-enacted with his hands the 9/11 attack of hijacked aircraft slamming into the World Trade Center. At the end of the clip, a Saudi messenger tells bin Laden that he is delivering a "beautiful fatwa" from Sheikh al-Ulwan. Now this radical Wahhabi's ideas were penetrating the minds of Palestinians as well. The ideological compatibility of Hamas with jihadi movements elsewhere raises the question of whether a new Hamas state in the Middle East could become a new center for global terrorism. Bin Laden sent emissaries to Hamas in September 2000 and January 2001; Israel arrested three Hamas militants in 2003 after they had returned from an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda Operations chief Abu Zubaydah first entered the world of terrorism through his membership in Hamas. And according to a 2004 FBI affidavit, al-Qaeda recruited Hamas members to conduct surveillance against potential targets in the U.S. The leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud al-Zahar, expressed his confidence that Israel's disengagement from Gaza - for which Hamas took direct credit - would lift the morale of the Arab and Islamic world and affect the battle for Afghanistan and Iraq. "We are part of the great world plan whose name is the world Islamic movement."

2006-02-03 00:00:00

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