BIN LADEN TARGETS JORDAN AND ISRAEL
by Hana Levi Julian (IsraelNN.com)
A new audio tape attributed to the head of the al Qaeda terrorist organization targets the Hashemite Kingdom for the first time, calling on terrorists to infiltrate the country and behead its rulers. “It has become clear that some Arab leaders were complicit with the Crusader-Zionist alliance against our people. These are the leaders that America calls moderate,” said bin Laden on the tape, broadcast late last week on Al Jazeera satellite television.
The terrorist leader, whose capture is worth $25 million to bounty hunters around the world, said that “a mujaheen victory in Iraq” would be the springboard for an incursion into Jordan. He recommended that Jordan then be used as a base from which to enter Judea and Samaria, and from there to destroy Israel completely, according to the translation of the tape released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“The West and its Arab allies are preventing the mujahadeen from coming to the aid of the Palestinians,” claimed Bin Laden. “Our state after the Gaza Cast Lead operation should not be the same as our state before it,” he declared. “We should work hard and prepare for jihad [holy war] in order to bring about what is right.”
The terrorist leader also named media outlets, including a number of Arab television channels, as potential targets, exhorting his followers to compile a list of “our hypocrite enemies and their media, especially newspapers, books, magazines, radio stations and satellite channels.” Among those he named were the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Al-Hurrah and Al-Arabiya television networks. The 33-minute tape was the second to be issued by Bin Laden since Israel ended its three-week counterterrorism Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
MEMRI’s director of the Jihad and Terrorism Studies Project, Eli Alshech, warned in an interview published Tuesday in The Jerusalem Post that government officials should pay attention to the tape and its message. “As always, bin Laden’s messages have to be taken seriously,” Alshech told the Post. “He poses an ideological threat, which has grown stronger. He focuses the energies of the most uncoordinated jihadists, and they internalize his message.”
Alshech pointed out that the tape has already created “a buzz on Islamic web sites.” He also noted there had been an upswing in terror attacks on oil rigs in Yemen and Saudi Arabia after bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, called for a jihad on Western investments in Arab oil.
U.S. officials who analyzed the tape seemed unperturbed, however, saying there was nothing new in the message. “Al Qaeda addresses these themes with some frequency and at this point, there doesn’t appear to be anything new there,” said a counterterrorism official quoted by the AFP news agency on Saturday.
“Al Qaeda’s message is always one that advocates murder and destruction. The indisputable fact is they murder indiscriminately women and children, Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” said the U.S. official, who requested anonymity. The al Qaeda terrorist organization is particularly known for its massive attack on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001.
Terrorism experts in Israel have said that the Gaza-based Army of Islam terrorist group in Gaza, and its allied Dughmush clan, are associated with al Qaeda.
The Army of Islam was one of the three terrorist groups that participated in the June 2006 abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit during a raid on an IDF outpost located near a Gaza crossing. Two other soldiers were killed and a fourth was gravely wounded in the attack, also perpetrated by members of Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terror groups.