IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has called on NATO generals to work closely with Israel to fight the growing terrorist infrastructure on the high seas. He made the appeal shortly before returning from a NATO conference on Thursday.
Israeli Navy commander General Eliezer Marom told trainees at a Navy commando course last week that in the past year the navy "acted as a strategic fighting force in all the military arenas, especially those far from Israel's shores, often extending its reach far beyond the limits of operational cover".
Last November, a special Israel Navy force intercepted and boarded the “Francop” ship carrying approximately 500 tons of weapons, rockets, and missiles under civilian disguise, 100 miles off the coast of Israel. The weapons were shipped from Iran and were intended for Hizbullah.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said at the time, “This is a well-known Iranian technique, taking advantage of cargo ships flying different flags in order to smuggle containers loaded with large amounts of highly volatile weaponry to terrorist organizations such as Hizbullah.”
Nine years ago, the navy stopped the Karine A vessel that was carrying weapons from Iran for Hamas terrorists in Gaza, where small fishing boats were to take deliver the weapons from the ship to the coast.
The Navy constantly patrols the Gaza coast to stop terrorists who use fishing boats as a camouflage for smuggling weapons. General Ashkenazi told NATO commanders that the global terror threat must be met on the seas as well as on land.
'Keep Terrorists on the Run'
White House national security advisor James Jones told USA Today on Saturday that the worst terrorist threat is the acquisition of a mass destruction weapon by terrorist groups, which cannot be controlled like a regular country. He said one counterterrorist solution is to "keep them always on the run.”
U.S. Senate Intelligence chairwoman Dianne Feinstein told the newspaper that Muslim radical potential the most dangerous threat to the world, especially when schools use the Quran to teach children “how to hate [and] encourage them toward jihad…. They teach them to hate and kill."
FBI intelligence advisor Phillip Mudd warned that terrorist groups are moving away from suicide attacks on public places and are planning to target strategic sites, such as power plants and water systems.