Israeli flag and al Qaeda symbol
Israeli flag and al Qaeda symbol Israel news photo: (illustrative)

Thursday's air strike by Israel Air force pilots thwarted an intended suicide bombing planned by the international al-Qaeda terrorist organization, according to Israeli military sources.

The planes fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at a squad of terrorists who were preparing to carry out a terror attack near the Karni Crossing, killing one. The joint IDF-ISA (Israel Security Agency, also known as “Shin Bet”) operation eliminated the lead terrorist, a member of Global Jihad, and wounded a second one as well. Military sources said al-Qaeda had masterminded the terrorist operation.

Local Palestinian Authority Arab sources claimed the terrorist who was killed in the strike, Fares Ahmed Jaber, was not a Global Jihad member, however. They claimed that Jaber was a member of the al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamist Palestinian Islamic Jihad  group. Although the group has carried out numerous suicide bombings in the past, there have been no major attacks since 2007, when an operative allegedly connected with the organization blew up a small bakery in Eilat, killing three workers.

Officials in the IDF Southern Command told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his tour of the region last month that al-Qaeda would attempt to infiltrate terrorists into Israel disguised as Sudanese refugees. They warned that al-Qaeda operatives are attempting to sneak through the holes in the Egyptian border to set up a terror cell in Israel.

One of the three Hamas-linked terrorist groups that combined forces in the attack that led to the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in on June 25, 2006 was the Army of Islam, led by the Gaza-based Doghmush clan, which is reportedly connected with al-Qaeda. The Army of Islam terror group was also responsible for the March 2007 kidnapping of the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Gaza City bureau chief Alan Johnston, who was held hostage for nearly four months before he was finally allowed to go free. Gilad Shalit is still being held captive; his condition and whereabouts are unknown.