- The United States government has been provided with concrete
evidence that the Israeli Mossad and other Israeli intelligence services
have been involved in a 13-month effort to "recruit" an Israeli-run,
phony "al Qaeda cell" among Palestinians, so that Israel could
achieve a frontline position in the U.S. war against terrorism and get
a green light for a worldwide "revenge without borders" policy.
The question: Does the United States have the moral fiber to investigate?
- Evidence of the Israeli dirty tricks burst onto the public
scene on December 6, when Col. Rashid Abu Shbak, head of the Palestinian
Preventive Security Services in the Gaza Strip, held a press conference
revealing the details of the alleged plot, as his agency had put the pieces
- The revelations undermine the "big lie" that
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has used to justify new brutal attacks on Palestinian
civilians in the Gaza Strip and other occupied areas. Sharon claimed on
December 4 that Israeli intelligence had "hard evidence" of al
Qaeda operations in the Gaza Strip. Now, the top Palestinian leadership
has shown the United States and other nations how Israeli intelligence
entities were creating that al Qaeda link!
- American leader Lyndon LaRouche, a Democratic Presidential
pre-candidate in 2004, commented that these revelations, if confirmed,
could be "of strategic importance" in stopping the American,
British and Israeli warhawks pushing for a Middle East war, beginning with
an invasion of Iraq. A war would justify the Sharon government's plan to
annihilate the very idea of a Palestinian state.
- LaRouche warned that if institutions of the American
Presidency and the international community successfully block an American
pre-emptive war on Iraq, the biggest danger would be that a "mega-terror"
attack, blamed on Palestinians, or an "Iraqi-linked" al Qaeda,
would be staged by Israel's ruling Jabotinskyite fanatics, to put the war
back on the agenda.
- News about the Mossad-run attempt to create an al Qaeda
cell came when well-informed intelligence sources based in Washington had
already told the Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) that there are many
doubts about the Mossad's hasty declaration that "al Qaeda" had
been responsible for the November 28 attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya,
where three Israelis were killed, and the failed rocket attack on an Israeli
chartered jet that was departing from Mombasa airport.
- There was no identification of the bombers within the
first five days of the incident, the sources pointed out, yet Sharon's
government ministers went on an immediate propaganda rampage announcing
worldwide revenge. Authorities in Kenya also denied the al Qaeda link.
But the usefulness of blaming al Qaeda, for the Israeli right, was palpable,
when Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Kenya attacks "a
golden opportunity" to prove to the United States that Bush's war
on terrorism, and Israel's war with the Palestinians is the same thing.
Netanyahu's faction has violently rejected the Palestinian Authority's
revelations, and so far, the American and European press have followed
suit, despite the dramatic nature of these charges, and the documents that
the Palestinians have provided to the international press.
- Chronology of the Revelations On December 7, the British
news service, Reuters, the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, and Qatar-based Al-Jazeera
TV network, all reported that the Palestinian Authority had accused the
Mossad of creating a phony al Qaeda cell in the Gaza Strip. Ha'aretz reported,
"the head of Palestinian Preventive Security" in the Gaza Strip,
Col. Rashid Abu Shbak, said on December 6, "that his forces had identified
a number of Palestinian collaborators who had been ordered by Israeli security
agencies to 'work in the Gaza Strip under the name of al Qaeda.' He said
the investigation was ongoing and evidence would be presented soon."
Al-Jazeera TV added that the Palestinian authorities had arrested a group
of Palestinian "collaborators with Israeli occupation" in Gaza,
involved in the operation.
- Reuters' reporter Diala Saadeh, under the headline, "Palestinians:
Israel Faked Gaza al-Qaeda Presence," quoted a number of Palestinian
Authority (P.A.) senior officials, including President Yasser Arafat, who
told reporters at his West Bank Ramallah headquarters, that Sharon's claims
of al Qaeda operations in Palestinian territories "is a big, big,
big lie to cover [Sharon's] attacks and his crimes against our people everywhere."
P.A. Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo detailed the case:
- "There are certain elements who were instructed
by the Mossad to form a cell under the name of al Qaeda in the Gaza Strip
in order to justify the assault and the military campaigns of the Israeli
occupation army against Gaza."
- Palestinian officials promised to provide detailed evidence,
and did so on December 8, in a press conference addressed by Colonel Shbak,
and by Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation
Nabil Shaath. Shbak told the international representatives that, "Over
the past nine months, we've been investigating eight cases in which Israeli
intelligence posing as al Qaeda operatives recruited Palestinians in the
Gaza Strip." Colonel Shbak said that three men were under arrest,
and 11 had been released.
- He explained that those released had voluntarily provided
information going back to May 2002, about the contacts that had been made
asking them to operate as an "al Qaeda" group. The alleged al
Qaeda recruiters were traced to Israeli intelligence, said Colonel Shbak.
He detailed incidents, some of which were described in official documents,
of cell phone calls and e-mails, where Palestinians were asked to "join
al Qaeda." Shbak said, "We investigated the origin of those calls,
which used [wireless phone] roaming, and messages, and found out they all
came from Israel," reported the publication IslamOnline. He said that
the potential "recruits," had been given money and weapons, "although
most of these weapons did not even work." He also noted that the money
for these targeted Palestinians "was transferred from bank accounts
in Jerusalem or Israel."
- Minister Shaath announced at the press conference that
the P.A. had "handed ambassadors and consuls of the Arab and foreign
countries, documents revealing the involvement of the Israeli intelligence
in recruiting citizens from Gaza Strip in a fake organization carrying
the name of Qaeda." He said the ploy was intended "to create
a new excuse to escalate the aggression on Gaza Strip."