< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

MOSSAD: 40 terrorist alerts on Jewish targets abroad

Haaretz: The Mossad has received some 40 alerts of terror attacks planned against Jewish and Israeli targets in various places in the world, Mossad head Meir Dagan said Monday.

Dagan spoke to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Security Committee plenum in the first appearance of the Mossad chief before this forum in 18 years.

Refusing to give the names of possible terrorist targets, Dagan said that authorized bodies like the Foreign Ministry and the prime minister's advisor for terror affairs could issue warnings to the public on the basis of intelligence tips, when necessary.

Speaking about the terror attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul, in which 20 people, six of them Jews, were killed, Dagan said Israel had no specific alert of a plan to attack Jewish institutions in Istanbul, only general alerts of possible attacks in Turkey.

Dagan said the attacks in Istanbul are believed to have been perpetrated by organizations belonging to the Global Jihad and Al-Qaida. He said the synagogues were guarded by the Turkish police and by a private security company, and that no flaws had been found in the security.

He said this was clearly not some ephemeral group, because attacks on such a scale require careful planning, a large amount of explosives and exact timing to coordinate the arrival of the vehicles carrying the bombs at the target site.

Dagan gave a slide presentation of the development of the Global Jihad, a world movement of radical Sunni groups spread all over the world, especially in large Moslem populations. All the groups share the ideology of enforcing fundamental Islam on the entire world by waging an all-out war on Western civilization.

Dagan added that Al-Qaida is only one of the organizations espousing war against the west. The dozens of organizations who believe in Global Jihad are dispersed all over the world, he explained, so striking against one organization would not impair the action potential of the others. The Mossad chief told the committee that these organizations have no inhibitions, so if they lay their hands on non-conventional weapons they would not hesitate to use them. The international intelligence community has been unable to identify which state or states support the organizations, he added. On the contrary, some Moslem states see them as a threat to their regime and try to act against them.

Dagan said Global Jihad cells operate in Britain, Spain, Italy and the Balkan states, as well as in Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Others operate in the Horn of Africa, as well as Kenya, Somalia, Mauritania, Sudan, Morocco, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.