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August 24, 2006

Al Qaeda Comes to Gaza? Kidnapping Of Fox Correspondent And Cameraman Linked To Abu Musab al Zarqawi- type Group?

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

In our post yesterday titled, "Gaza group claims kidnapping of Fox journalists," we stuck our necks way out and said that the kidnapping of Fox correspondent Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig had all the sounds and smells of an al-Qaeda operation, and that the "Holy Jihad Brigades" was likely related to the Islamic Jihad Brigades operating out of Iraq - and belonging to what Rusty Shakleford referred to as belonging to the cult of Abu Musab al Zarqawi. The clue to all of us was the

Later, Christopher Isham wrote at The Blotter that terrorism analysts are saying that al Qaeda may have conducted their first operation in Gaza:

This after a video was released today of the two Fox News journalists held hostage since August 14 along with an accompanying written statement issued by a previously unknown group calling itself the "Holy Jihad Brigades."

The language in the statement, which denounces the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is similar in style and content to the kind of dispatches issued by Abu Musab al Zarqawi when he was leading al Qaeda in Iraq.

One sentence states, "You infidels and masters of oppression: Convert to Islam and you will be safe...We came to you with the intention of slaughtering or beheading." The statement goes on to denounce "democracy" and the regimes that seek secular goals, such as "democracy and freedom."

"The rhetoric is vintage al Qaeda," said Fawaz Gerges, an ABC News Consultant and professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. "This is consistent with what we have seen in Iraq and other places."

Also unusual for Palestinian militants was the extraordinary demand issued in the statement that "Muslim prisoners in U.S. jails be released within three days" in exchange for the two Fox journalists. Targeting journalists from an American news organization and making demands on the United States rather than Israel is not typical for Palestinian groups.

Continue reading "Al-Qaeda Comes To Gaza?".

None of us want to even think about the likely outcome if al-Qaeda is indeed involved. However, it does indeed appear likely that we are looking at a Abu Musab al Zarqawi- type group, and the potential for a terribly tragic outcome.

Posted by Richard at August 24, 2006 9:09 AM

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