Newsletter : 16fx0509.txt
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ISIS to Israel: 'We're Coming Very Soon'
This past weekend has seen a major escalation of the ISIS threats against Israel,
DEBKAfile's intelligence and counterterrorism sources report. In a coordinated maneuver by
all of the ISIS commands in the Middle East, the terrorist organization simultaneously
released at least 10 videos that it said showed ISIS forces on their way to attack targets
All of the videos refer to the Palestinian issue, Jerusalem and the timing of the
attacks. In each one, the narrator claims the terror organization did not forget the
Palestinians, and will not neglect them any more; describes Jerusalem as "a bridge to
Islam"; and threatens an impending attack, saying "We're coming, and coming very soon"
accompanied by images of fighters from the ISIS affiliate in the Sinai are shown.
It was not the first time for the ISIS propaganda machine to threaten hostilities
against Israel, but it was the first time for the threat to be issued simultaneously from
every province or city where ISIS is located in the Middle East. The videos included ones
from Raqqa, the ISIS capital in Syria; Mosul, the terrorist organization's capital in
Iraq; the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt; Derna in eastern Libya; and central Libya, where
according to DEBKAfile's counterterrorism sources ISIS controls a huge 300-kilometer area
including the Mediterranean coast on the Gulf of Sidra.
Our sources report that every video contains the following sentences: "We know that the
Egyptian army is being helped by Israeli intelligence and the Israeli Air Force in its war
against us"; "We also know that Israel set up intelligence networks within the population
of the Bedouin tribes in the Sinai"; and "From now on we will take action against Egyptian
and Israeli targets as one."
DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report that these comments are intended to counter
efforts by the Egyptian military to establish anti-ISIS militias among the Bedouin tribes.
This came after American counterterrorism experts advised the Egyptian military to operate
the same way that the US operates among the Sunni tribes in western Iraq's Anbar province,
where US military instructors are setting up local militias to prevent ISIS fighters from
entering or passing through areas under the tribes' control. Our sources report that
three Bedouin anti-ISIS militias have been established in the Sinai so far: the "Sons of
Sinai", "Unit 103"; and the "Death Squad,"
Meanwhile, the ISIS affiliate in the Sinai carried out one of its boldest terrorist
attacks on Sunday, May 8, killing eight Egyptian policemen including an officer, in the
Cairo suburb of Helwan. Four masked terrorists with automatic weapons jumped out of a
commercial vehicle that had blocked a minibus transporting the policemen, fired hundreds
of bullets at the minibus, killing everyone inside, and then fled the scene. Western
counterterrorism experts monitoring ISIS-Sinai estimate that it not only has the ability
to carry out terrorist attacks in major Egyptian cities, but also against Israel.
Hamas Bolsters Forces on Sinai Border over ISIS Concern
By Reuters and Israel Hayom
The Hamas terrorist group has beefed up its security presence along the Egypt-Gaza
Strip border to counter Cairo's concerns that it is aiding the Islamic State group in
Egypt's volatile Sinai Peninsula.
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, began deploying additional security forces along the
border with Egypt in mid-April in an effort to ease Cairo's security concerns, which have
increased since the overthrow of former Islamist Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in
Hamas security forces have set up dozens of new military bases and watch towers in
border areas, allowing hundreds of security personnel to take up positions along the
13-kilometer (8-mile) border while soldiers in pickup trucks patrol back and forth.
The deployment followed a meeting between a senior Hamas delegation and Egyptian
intelligence officials in Cairo in March. The two sides reached an agreement that sees
Hamas halt tunnel construction in return for the opening of the Rafah Border Crossing,
Gaza's main gateway to the outside world.
Egypt has accused Hamas of backing an insurgency of Islamist terrorists in the Sinai
Peninsula. Hamas has denied the allegations. Following the visit, Hamas vowed to take
concrete steps to prevent arms smuggling and the infiltration of extremist elements across
the border into Sinai.
"Hamas has boosted its security presence along the Palestinian-Egyptian border in order
to maintain firm control of the border areas after an agreement between Hamas and Egyptian
officials," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman. "Hamas' position is clear: Hamas will
not allow Gaza to be a threat to Egypt's security. The reports which spoke about the
infiltration of extremist elements from the Gaza Strip into the Sinai Peninsula are merely
Israeli allegations that aim to harm the relations between the Hamas movement and
Hamas, currently facing its worst financial crisis since it violently seized control of
Gaza in 2007, hopes the new security arrangements will ensure a permanent opening of the
Rafah Border Crossing and lay a platform for new relations with Egypt. The movement's
financial situation worsened after Egyptian forces damaged and used seawater to flood the
smuggling tunnels that served as a lifeline for Hamas in Gaza.
Hamas security forces have launched a harsh arrest campaign against radical Salafi
groups, which support the global holy war launched by IS and al-Qaida, following a string
of bombings that have targeted many of the group's security headquarters and vehicles in
the heart of Gaza over recent years.
"Actually, Hamas has been cracking down on extremist Salafists since 2009," said
Mukheimar Abu Saada, a political analyst. "Hamas security forces clashed with a group of
Salafists and killed many of them in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip many years ago. And
since then, Hamas security forces have been launching arrest campaigns against extremist
Salafists, mainly because their presence threatens security and stability in the Gaza
Netanyahu: What Happened in the Bible, Happened Here
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with the participants of the Bible Quiz on
Sunday, held traditionally on Israel's Independence Day (Yom Ha'atzmaut). Also present
were Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), Jewish Agency Chairman Natan
Sharansky, and the World Bible Quiz leader Itzik Ben-Avi.
Sixty-five teenagers from 33 countries around the world and Israel participated this
year in the Quiz, under the theme of the Unity of Israel.
"We are in the land of the Bible, we are in the city of Jerusalem," Netanyahu said
during the meeting. "What happened there happened here. This is our country, this is our
heritage," Netanyahu said. "Our schools. Our story. Our faith, our hope. All this is in
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