”Global jihad could be behind rocket attacks”, claim terror experts

February 23rd, 2009 - 4:20 pm ICT by ANI  


Jerusalem, Feb.23 (ANI): Terrorism analysts have claimed that Al-Qaida affiliated global jihadi groups could be playing an important role in the trickle of rocket fire and border attacks directed against Israel from southern Lebanon and Gaza in recent days. “When I look at the Katyusha attack from southern Lebanon, my instinct tells me a global jihad group is linked,” the Jerusalem Post quoted Yoram Schweitzer, director of the Program on Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict at Tel Aviv University’’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), as saying.
Schweitzer further said: “There is a basis for a confrontation” between radical Sunni jihadi groups stationed in southern Lebanon and Hizbullah. Sunni jihadi groups are likely to seek a defiant stance towards Hizbullah and its patron Iran in the future, but for now are establishing their presence by occasionally firing on Israel.
Al-Qaida affiliated groups like Fatah al-Islam and Asbat al-Ansar recruit their members from Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, where disaffected residents embrace an extremist ideology, Schweitzer added.
“For them, an extremist agenda is almost natural,” Schweitzer said, adding that such groups are keen to challenge Hizbullah and to expose the Shi”ite organization’’s current reluctance to be dragged into another war with Israel. Shlomo Brom, director of the Program on Israel-Palestinian Relations at the INSS, concurred with Schweitzer that “is very reasonable to assume” that global jihadis were responsible for the Katyusha rocket on Saturday.
“It’’s a win-win situation for them. They attack Israel while harming Hizbullah, who they consider to be treacherous Shi”ites, thereby striking both of their enemies,” Brom said.
Brom expressed concern over the extent to which Israel had grasped the role being played by the global jihad on its borders, particularly in Gaza. (ANI)

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