Friday, March 02, 2007

Islamic Group's Wrath Stokes Fears in Gaza

The rising influence, and threat, of radical militants claiming to represent Islam in the Gaza strip looks so much like the attitude and activities of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan that it is worth noting the similarity. And in each case it is fair to ask where the funding for these activities comes from. Could it not be from a similar source?
Loretta Napoleoni, Terror Incorporated, says that Saudi Arabia has been bankrolling Wahhabist groups in several places. In particular she cites [p. 123] Pakistan, Chechnya, and Egypt, but she implies that "the Saudis" have been funding many such groups elsewhere. Could Saudi money be the main source of the rise of militant, destructive groups claiming to represent Islam in so many places across the Middle East and Central Asia today? If so, it is probably not government money, but private Saudi money. In any case, the world's appetite for oil may be the ultimate source[!].

Islamic Group's Wrath Stokes Fears in Gaza
by Eric Westervelt
"Islamic fundamentalists are suspected of murdering three women thought to be prostitutes in the Gaza Strip. The deaths follow the bombing and torching of businesses and public places that radicals believe to be un-Islamic."
"...according to investigator Abu al Abed ... he's never seen three women murdered in one night, let alone three assassinated gangland style."
"The attacks started in October 2006 ... hitting a wide range of businesses ... [m]odern music stores, DVD outlets, restaurants and cultural centers ..."
"A statement from ... 'The Swords of Islamic Righteousness,' claimed responsibility..."
"Gaza security officials are investigating the possibility that these vigilante moralists have the ... backing of Hamas."
" [Investigator] Abed said analysis of explosive residue links Hamas' underground paramilitary wing — the Izzadine al Qassam brigades — and its more official police force to the wave of attacks."
" Some in Hamas, investigators say, are working by proxy to do what they can't do openly now that they're leading the government: trying to impose an Islamist social agenda across Gaza."

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