Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Michael Scheuer , "Palestine and Israel: The ring of terror tightens," Asia Times online, December 25, 2008. Part 4 of a series.

As discussed earlier in this series of articles, the entry of Sunni mujahideen from Iraq into Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon has been a fairly visible process and tracking it - at least in outline form - is an achievable task.

  Israel's security, already compromised by the destruction of the reliable, anti-Salafi bulwark provided by Saddam's regime, is likely to encounter a much larger Salafist threat in any future scenario wherein US military forces leave Iraq and the Shi'ite regime in Baghdad has no incentive to control the exodus of Sunni militants across its western border.

Likewise, the goal of the mujahideen from Iraq has been clear: (a) to spread Salafi beliefs in the Levant countries and (b) to place fighters as close to Israel as possible. These Salafi Islamists are, in essence, trying to create a space where they can begin to operate inside Israel. Whether they succeed in that goal is an open question, but their intent is clear.

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