Daily Israel Report

Top IDF Official Warns: Global Jihad is at Our Doorstep

Syria is attracting more and more Islamist elements and the threat may affect the entire region, says the head of Military Intelligence.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/24/2013, 2:45 AM

Aviv Kochavi
Aviv Kochavi
Flash 90

The threats against Israel are changing and the global jihad is literally at its doorstep, the head of Military Intelligence warned on Tuesday.

"It is possible that in the long run the winds of change will bring with them an opportunity, but in the short term the risks are increasing," said Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi during a graduation ceremony for hundreds of new intelligence officers.

"Syria, which is the most disturbing example, attracts thousands of global jihad activists and Muslim extremists from the region and around the world, who base themselves in the country, not only to bring down Assad, but to promote the vision of a state based on Islamic law," he added.

"Before our very eyes, at our doorstep, a large-scale center of the global jihad is developing, which may affect not only Syria and not just the borders of Israel, but Lebanon, Jordan, Sinai, and can radiate onto the entire region," warned Kochavi.

The leader of the jihadist Syrian rebel group Jabhat Al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) recently declared that his group is in favor of establishing an Islamic caliphate in civil war torn Syria.

In an audio recorded that has been disseminated over the past several days, Abu Mohammad al-Julani said, "Being Muslims, we do not believe in political parties or parliamentary elections, but rather in an Islamic regime based on the Shura (advisory council) and which implements justice ... Our heading towards the establishment of Islamic law (Sharia) is jihad in Allah's way.”

Al-Nusra Front several months ago pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and has blacklisted by the United States and the United Nations as a terrorist again.

It is part of the 13-member Islamic Front for the Liberation of Syria, which split off from the Syrian National Council opposition force. The front declared the northern commercial hub city of Aleppo to be an independent Islamist state already months ago.