Al-Qaeda-Inspired Jihadi Groups Gaining Strength in Gaza

(AP-Washington Post) Abu Bakir al-Ansari, a leader of one of Gaza's secretive jihadi groups, told AP in an interview that the al-Qaeda-inspired movement now has several thousand armed fighters in Gaza, posing a formidable threat to both Israel and the area's Hamas rulers. Gaza's Salafis support al-Qaeda's campaign of global jihad, but are not believed to have direct links with the global terror network. An Israeli expert on al-Qaeda, Aviv Oreg, estimated there were up to 1,000 Salafi fighters. Abu Bakir confirmed that his group was behind the death of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian pro-Palestinian activist killed in Gaza in April 2011. He also claimed that 100 Gazans have gone to Syria to battle the Assad regime, and 10 have been killed so far.

2014-03-10 00:00:00

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