Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Will a Gaza "Hamas-stan" Become a Future Al-Qaeda Sanctuary? - Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror and David Keyes

Read this article. The answer seems clear and it is a strong YES . With the Egyptian border already open and Peres overseeing the airport and seaport, it has probably already begun. Welcome to HamasQaeda-stan.

Some of the Article:

Implications for Gaza Disengagement

Today, al-Qaeda is increasingly decentralized and in disarray. As President Bush often notes, two-thirds of al-Qaeda's known leadership has either been killed or captured.45 As al-Qaeda attempts to rehabilitate itself, a danger exists that Hamas will provide a Gaza safe-haven for international terrorist organizations, specifically al-Qaeda. Time, money, and persistence transformed al-Qaeda into the massive terror network it had become - despite its humble beginnings fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hamas' trends indicate a greater emphasis on anti-Western rhetoric and increased collusion with al-Qaeda. While Israel continues its fight against Palestinian terror, Hamas is undoubtedly looking for more sources of money, recruits, and training. They are fueled by the same Wahhabi sheikhs, mostly from Saudi Arabia. Significantly, they are also often funded by the exact same people.
Clearly, a dangerous mix of conditions exists for the potential aid of al-Qaeda to Hamas and vice versa. Though the operational cooperation between the two groups may only be intermittent today, in the global fight against terror it is prudent to maintain a global outlook. As Israel prepares for its disengagement, a grave threat exists that Gaza will become an international terror base. Just as lawlessness and terror rule in the Afghan-Pakistan border region, conditions may be similar given Israeli disengagement from Gaza. Without an effective anti-terror network with freedom of movement in Gaza, conditions would be ripe for a bin Laden/Hamas-based network in Gaza. And, just as Coalition forces have found it difficult to enter the viper's nest of terrorism - the Afghan-Pakistan region - so too would it be difficult to enter a terrorist-ruled Gaza.

Such was the case in Lebanon in the early 1980s as well. Terrorist groups worldwide, from the German Baader-Meinhof faction to the Japanese Red Army, found refuge in Lebanon. From that safe haven, dozens of terror organizations aided one another without interference from abroad. It was only the full-scale Lebanon war of 1982 that eradicated that international terror safe-haven.

The Strategic Envelope of Gaza and the Threat of a Security Vacuum

To prevent a safe haven for terrorism from emerging in Gaza, Israel must maintain control over the strategic envelope around Gaza even after its disengagement, particularly air, land, and sea access to the territory. For example, unless Israel controls the ports, weapons ships such as the Karine A, that was sent from Iran to the Palestinian Authority with 50 tons of illegal arms including a ton and a half of C-4 explosives, would become commonplace. Israeli military control over the Philadelphia corridor along the Gaza-Egyptian border is an imperative to stop the flow of heavy weaponry to a myriad of Palestinian terror factions. Continued Israeli control of air-space is also necessary to prevent massive smuggling of weapons through Gaza's airport. In the past, the PA has proven itself to be totally incapable, or more likely totally unwilling, to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.

The extent to which the Gaza Strip has unimpeded access to the outside world without Israeli security controls will determine whether a post-disengagement Gaza becomes a sanctuary for global terrorist groups like al-Qaeda. Historically, insurgencies and terrorism campaigns have succeeded wherever they have been able to maintain external lines of supply. Conversely, insurgencies have been defeated when they have been isolated. IDF control over Gaza's access routes is imperative in order to isolate the terrorist infrastructure.

Full article:

Will a Gaza "Hamas-stan" Become a Future Al-Qaeda Sanctuary? - Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror and David Keyes:


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