RealNews

Israel Probes for Al Qaeda Links

Bombing by Britons of Pakistani descent raises suspicions of Hamas tie to Bin Laden. But little proof is offered, and groups’ views diverge. The result of the odyssey that brought the two suicide bombers to the beachfront bar in Tel Aviv was not unusual: They died. And so did three of their 58 victims. But otherwise, the story of the attack six weeks ago breaks with the familiar narrative of suicide bombings in Israel. The bombers were not Palestinians from the dusty towns or seething refugee camps of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The duo were Britons of Pakistani descent, radicalized in the Islamic extremist milieu in Britain that has been a breeding ground for Al Qaeda. They became the first foreigners to commit a suicide attack here since the start of the intifada, or uprising, in 2000. It’s not clear, however, precisely who gave the orders to blow up Mike’s Place, a hangout for English speakers, on April 30. The identity of the masterminds has become the subject of a politically charged dispute. Israeli officials said Monday that their security forces are “examining suspicions” that the attack teamed the militant group Hamas with Al Qaeda recruiters who groomed the bombers. Because Al Qaeda’s activity in Israel has been limited, such an alliance would be a worrisome development. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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