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Defense Minister Says Anyone is A Potential Target


Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz stated Tuesday that anyone in Gaza may be targeted by the IDF in the ongoing war against terrorism. He was speaking while visiting soldiers on the southern Gaza border with Egypt. Mofaz made his comments in response to a question pertaining to senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders. He added that Gaza is a breeding ground for terrorism.

Kenya Denies Allegations it Ignored Terrorist Attack Warnings

By VOA News

Kenya has denied charges that it ignored warnings of terrorist attacks before last week's suicide car bombing in Mombassa that killed 16 people. Tuesday's denial came as President Daniel arap Moi headed to Washington for talks on security in the Horn of Africa region with President Bush on Thursday. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi will also be included in the talks. Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper said top government officials were warned four times since March about impending attacks. It said the warnings named the Somalia-based Al Itihad Al Islamiya group that is linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network. The newspaper said the names and photographs of two Iraqi suspects who planned to enter Kenya from Somalia to carry out attacks were passed to authorities. The newspaper did not name its sources. Last Thursday's car bombing at the Israeli-owned Paradise resort hotel in Mombassa killed 10 Kenyans, three Israelis, and three suicide bombers. Minutes before the blast, two shoulder-launched missiles were fired at an Israeli-chartered passenger plane leaving the city, narrowly missing their target. The United States said there is increasing reason to believe al-Qaeda was involved in the two Kenya attacks. A statement attributed to al-Qaeda claiming responsibility was posted on an Islamic website on Monday. U.S. officials say they consider the claim to be credible. The website published a statement claiming that it was behind last Thursday's double-pronged terrorist attacks on Israeli targets in Kenya. Simultaneously, a terror organization calling itself "Islamic al-Qaeda in Palestine" has begun spreading its name on the Internet, explaining that it is operating in Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority.

In a leaflet reportedly distributed in PA areas, potential al-Qaeda members are asked to swear allegiance to Osama bin Laden. While the authenticity of the Internet announcements cannot be verified, the presence of al-Qaeda operatives in Judea, Samaria and Gaza was confirmed Monday by IDF Chief of Staff Moshe ("Bogi") Ya'alon during a visit to a recruiting base. However, the Chief of Staff also stated that, thanks to intelligence information, Israel has been able to eliminate certain al-Qaeda threats both in Israel and abroad.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, also addressing the al-Qaeda threat, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that attempts by the organization to infiltrate Israel have been frustrated by Israeli security services. Mofaz also warned that the terrorist threat is likely to worsen in the coming months, with the Mombassa attack being a watershed event Meanwhile, an Israeli security official said Israeli intelligence had advance warning that al-Qaeda was planning attacks with Kenya as a likely target. But the official, military intelligence chief General Yossi Kuperwasser, is quoted by Israel radio as saying the warning was only general -- without enough detail to have prevented the suicide bombing. On Monday, an unidentified U.S. official said the Soviet-made missile launchers used in Kenya appear to be from the same batch as a launcher used in a June attempt to shoot down a U.S. warplane in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Ha'aretz reported that Israel's army chief, Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon, issued a warning this week that al-Qaeda's leader, Osama bin-Laden, is working with Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Defending the Skies

By Israel Faxx News Sources

An Israeli defense consortium has developed an advanced on-board defense system for civilian airliners. The system is designed to detect an incoming missile and deflect it safely away from the airliner.

Israel Aircraft Industries subsidiary Elta Electronics Industries, Koor Industries subsidiary Elisra Electronic Systems, and Rafael have developed the system in conjunction with Israeli intelligence agencies. In addition, development of the system was funded in part by the Israeli Transportation Ministry. Israeli financial sources have said that the system will be offered to foreign airlines, as well as most likely being put into operation on El Al and Arkia airplanes.

The system, among other advances, will be designed to counter shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, such as those fired at an Arkia flight last week over Kenya. Last week's attempted downing of a civilian aircraft has increased interest in the Israeli system and will most likely speed up the implementation schedule.

Bill Gates: Israel Represents the Leading Edge of Innovation

By Israel Faxx News Sources

Expressing confidence in the future of Israeli technology, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said that his company would expand its investment in Israel in the future, Yediot Achronot reported.

"We are investing and continue to invest in our research and development in Israel. Our team in Israel has recently been handed with some challenging and ambitious tasks. They are working with new developments, particularly in the field of digital security. In this area Israel has an impressive record of accomplishment," Gates said.

He added that despite the political and security situation, Israel continues to represent the cutting edge of innovation, and Microsoft will continue to be a part of it. "There is no connection between the war that Israel is fighting and the future of the technology that is being created there." He said that while the company is always concerned about the welfare of its employees, security concerns "won't stop us from deepening our activities in Israel."

Microsoft Israel, founded in 1989, is one of the few Microsoft outposts abroad fully owned and operated by the U.S. parent company. The Microsoft research and development center in Haifa is one of a small group of overseas centers involved developing new products for the company.

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