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More on Al-Qaeda in Gaza

Jonathan Schanzer

Islamist terrorists identified with the “Worldwide Jihad” have entered the Gaza Strip, and are now operating there, the Israeli daily Haaretz reports. Many of these men have previously taken part in the fighting against U.S. forces in Iraq.

Southern Israel may be exposed to increasing dangers as a result of these groups. According to the Jerusalem Post, “In June, a major terrorist attack that included 10 gunmen and explosives-laden horses was thwarted by the IDF near the Karni crossing. The attack was carried out by a group affiliated with al-Qaeda.”

As I noted in the fall issue of inFOCUS, after the 2007 Hamas takeover, Gaza became increasingly attractive to global Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda. I predicted (and still do) that al-Qaeda’s influnece in Gaza will be limited. Still, as I noted in 2007, “Limited cooperation… may not mean limited risk. Israel must now be wary of the technology, training, and know-how that al-Qaeda can more easily bring to its doorstep.”