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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

HAMAS issues instructions: Fully reactivate all terror units for fresh offensive

DEBKAfile Special Report
The next Hamas suicide bomber can kill without strapping a bomb belt to his body. DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources reveal the new type of explosive going into use after the collapse of the Cairo ceasefire talks as being much smaller and lighter while packing a much larger bang. It is compressed enough to be carried in a small bag or hidden in the killer’s clothes. A vest can be soaked in its liquefied form. Improved detonators and timers enable the bomber to start the countdown before he reaches target. By the time he is searched at the entrance to a mall or bus station, the bomb is on timer.

This week, after the breakdown of the Egyptian attempt to broker a Palestinian ceasefire, Hamas leaders issued instructions to the operational commands in Damascus and the Gaza strip to fully reactivate all terror units for a fresh offensive against Israel. They agreed to cooperate.

A senior Hamas operations commander in the Gaza Strip Abu Muhaheed forewarned Palestinian officials of this decision and told them of the extra-powerful, miniaturized explosive substance for use by Hamas suicide bombers.

Israeli security experts confirm the improved incendiary is far more powerful than the types used hitherto by Palestinian terrorists. It appears to be a new cocktail not previously encountered in the Palestinian terrorist offensive in Israel.

DEBKAfile’s Counter-terror sources add that the Hamas appears to have obtained the new explosive from the Hizballah together with the improved timers and detonators which enable the terrorist to activate the charge between ten and twenty minutes before he reaches the scene of attack. Even if he is caught on the way to target, there is no way the bomb can be disarmed. It will go off exactly at the preset time.

Israeli counter-terror chiefs have suspected that a new kind of composite bomb substance was about to go into use after two British Muslim suicide bombers attacked a Tel Aviv seafront bar at the end of last April. One fled, the other’s body was found with an unknown type of explosive.

On May 20, the presumption was confirmed when the Israeli navy succeeded in capturing an Egyptian fishing boat, “Abu Hasan,” en route from Beirut to Gaza. On board was one of Hizballah’s expert bomb-makers, Hamad Amra. Found in his possession were 36 instructional video tapes demonstrating how to assemble explosive material and the different ways of incorporating them undetectably in fine undergarments or even outer wear to defeat the searches of bags.

Security experts assume that the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group transferred the experts and the know-how to the Hamas in the Gaza Strip, with the help of Syrian military intelligence.