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The Growing Al-Qaeda Threat to Israel

By Michael Freund
10/1/2006, 12:00 AM

If Osama Bin-Laden’s official representative in Iraq is to be believed, Al-Qaeda has now officially turned its sights on the Jewish state.

In an audio tape posted on an Islamist website, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed that 4 Katyusha rockets fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel on December 27 were the work of the terrorist group and came at the instructions of its chieftain, bin Laden.

“The rocket firing at the ancestors of monkeys and pigs from the south of Lebanon was only the start of a blessed in-depth strike against the Zionist enemy”, al-Zarqawi declared, adding that “All that was on the instructions of the sheikh of the mujahedeen, Osama bin Laden”.

Osama_sucks_1 This comes just a few short weeks after UPI reported (December 7) that Al-Qaeda had forged an alliance with Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon to coordinate anti-Israel attacks.

The presence of Al-Qaeda in Lebanon is extremely significant, because it now means that the terror group has operatives in nearly all the countries surrounding Israel. Don’t forget that Al-Qaeda has carried out bombings in Amman, Jordan (in November 2004), and in the Egyptian-controlled Sinai (in October 2004) at Western and Israeli targets.

Hence, as ominous as it sounds, Al-Qaeda has the ability to target Israel from the west, the east and the north. And, as Israel’s head of Military Intelligence confirmed at the end of September, Osama bin-Laden’s thugs established a presence in Gaza as well in the wake of the Israeli retreat, giving them still another launching pad for attacks against the Jewish state.

All this underlines just how much Israel is on the front-lines of the global war on terror – and how essential it is that we stand firm and confront it. For some time now, I have been reporting on this blog about the growing threat posed by Al-Qaeda to Israel, particularly in light of the Gaza withdrawal and the vacuum it created in the area. It is crucial that we raise awareness about this issue, both in Israel and the West, and that we inform our communities, elected representatives and leaders about it.

I don't want to sound like an alarmist, but Al-Qaeda’s increased presence in the region clearly does not bode well for the future. It is time for Israel’s decision-makers to take this threat seriously, and to start taking concrete action to forestall a Middle Eastern 9/11 – before it is too late.

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