The Middle East Newsline has obtained a report from Israel Security Agency, the ISA, which has determined that al-Qaida has been expanding its operations around Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. In an assessment, the ISA, the nation’s domestic intelligence agency, said al-Qaida has been recruiting Palestinian and Israeli operatives through the Internet.
“Al-Qaida has become more successful in gaining popular and operational strength in the area,” an ISA official said.
In its annual summary, ISA did not elaborate on the growth of al-Qaida. The report said al -Qaida was becoming increasingly successful in influencing young people, particularly students in Israel and the West Bank.
In 2008, nearly a dozen Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs were indicted on charges of participating in al-Qaida plots to attack Israeli and U.S. targets. The targets were said to have included the helicopter used by President George W. Bush during his visit in May 2008.
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The ISA has pointed to the rise of the Hizb Al Tahrir movement. Hizb al-Tahrir, aligned with al-Qaida, has been spreading rapidly both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and has been portrayed as an alternative to Hamas.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org