While Islamic State (ISIS) attacks in Europe and massacres in Syria and Iraq have dominated the headlines in recent months, the radical Islamic terror group may be shifting its focus, placing a greater emphasis on Israel and the United States.
This Sunday, a Gazan Salafist official and ISIS affiliate Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari spoke with an American journalist, Aaron Klein, about the terror organization’s capabilities and future plans.
Al-Ansari, who is believed to have close ties to ISIS, emphasized that the terror organization would be focusing on Israel and the US, and viewed those two nations as its primary enemies in the pursuit of an Islamic caliphate.
“Israel and the United States are at the top of the list of the targets of the Islamic State,” Al-Ansari said on the Aaron Klein Investigative Radio show. “The Islamic State educates its people that Israel and the United States are the leaders of the infidels and we believe that Israel should be disappeared [sic].”
Perhaps most disturbing, however, are reports that ISIS is building an extensive terror infrastructure along Israel’s southern border. Taking advantage of the minimal Egyptian presence in the Sinai, Wilayat Sinai (Sinai Province), an affiliate of ISIS, has expanded its capabilities for a potential attack on Israel.
According to Al-Ansari, ISIS is already planning its first major attack on Israeli soil. A major ISIS attack on Israel, he claims, is only a matter of time.
“I can confirm that it is only a question of time when there will be a big operation in Eilat and in the south of Israel. The Wilayat Sinai will be the ones responsible for the confrontation with Israel.”
Speaking with Israel Army Radio, Yehuda Cohen, the commander of the IDF's Sagi Brigade which secures the border with Egypt, admitted that such an attack was indeed likely.
“In the end it must be remembered this organization was formed by terrorists that dream of a terror attack against Israel, and it will come. It’s clear that there will be a terror attack against Israel, I believe that it will happen during my tenure,” Cohen said.
While Israel has hitherto been spared the horrors ISIS has inflicted on Syria and Iraq, ISIS activity against Israel has been on the rise in recent months. In February a Sudanese national, allegedly inspired by ISIS, stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier, in what is believed to be the first successful ISIS attack in Israel.
Earlier in March a suicide bomber affiliated with ISIS bombed a popular shopping center in Istanbul, murdering three Israelis and wounding dozens after tracking the Israeli tourists from their hotel.
Just this Monday two Arab residents of Jerusalem were charged with planning bombing attacks on Jerusalem for ISIS - the latest in a string of small ISIS cells broken up by Israeli security forces while planning attacks.