A Rejuvenated Iran-Al-Qaeda Link Poses New Security Threats

(JNS) Yaakov Lappin - Despite the many military blows that Salafi jihadist entities have absorbed over the years, both ISIS and al-Qaeda have been able to survive and create new threats due to their ideology, which cannot be bombed out of existence. The new leader of al-Qaeda, Saif al-Adel, who arrived in Afghanistan from Iran in November 2022, has significance for Israel, according to Michael Barak, senior researcher at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT). "Al-Adel is in very good contact with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)," Barak told JNS. "It's a relationship that goes back to the 1990s. Al-Adel has a team behind him. And al-Qaeda and Iran have cooperated in the past - Iran can use al-Qaeda to launch attacks against Israel while denying their involvement." In November 2022, an Israeli businessman in Georgia was the target of a Pakistani terror squad affiliated with al-Qaeda. The squad had traveled to the country under Iranian orders. "Al-Qaeda still has some of its leadership in Iran," said Barak. "With al-Adel now trying to strengthen his status within al-Qaeda, this organization poses more of an external threat to Israel than ISIS." Despite Egyptian declarations about the elimination of ISIS, it remains a problem in northern Sinai, particularly near Rafah. "It's weakened significantly, but still there," Barak said. In recent months ISIS has reemerged, carrying out attacks on Egyptian security personnel and civilian infrastructure sites. In Syria and Iraq, ISIS still maintains some 10,000 operatives, who have entered into guerilla warfare mode. ISIS and al-Qaeda "say that they will set up an Islamic Salafi jihadi base as soon as they can on Israel's borders, and from there they will attack Israel, and that this is a highly important goal," he said.

2023-06-29 00:00:00

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