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The Al-Qaeda Threat to Israel

By Michael Freund
3/3/2006, 12:00 AM

The writing is on the wall – only Israel’s government refuses to read it.

In yet the latest bit of evidence to indicate that Al-Qaeda is setting the stage for possible future attacks against the Jewish state, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas admitted to a London-based Arabic newspaper earlier this week that, "We have signs of an al Qaeda presence in the West Bank and Gaza."

Abbas’ statement confirms what the head of Israel’s Military Intelligence said last September, when he noted that Al-Qaeda had moved in to Gaza and set up shop there right after Israel’s retreat from the area.

Thus, for several months now, Osama Bin-Laden’s network has been busy establishing a base of operations along Israel’s borders, yet Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has failed to take any steps to stem this growing threat.

If we know that Al-Qaeda has a presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, then why the heck isn’t Israel going in now to uproot the terrorist infrastructure?

Must we wait, G-d forbid, for a major Al-Qaeda attack in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem before taking action?

In early January, Iraqi terrorist chieftain Abu Musab al-Zarqawi posted an audio tape on an Islamist website in which he claimed that 4 Katyusha rockets fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel on December 27 had been the work of Al-Qaeda and came at the instructions of none other than bin Laden himself.

“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 said, adding that “All that was on the instructions of the sheikh of the mujahedeen, Osama bin Laden”.

It’s time for Mr. Olmert to start taking this danger seriously, and for Israel to take prompt action, before it is too late.