Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hamas has quietly allowed the expansion of Al Qaida in the Gaza Strip, a report said.
Al Qaida expanding network in Gaza with Hamas help
JERUSALEM — Hamas has quietly allowed the expansion of Al Qaida in the Gaza Strip, a report said.
The report cited Israeli intelligence assessments that Al Qaida groups have been expanding in the Gaza Strip. The report cited such groups as Army of Islam, Army of the Nation, Fatah Al Islam and Jund Ansar Allah.
"Practically, there have been noticeable operational links between Hamas and Al Qaida," the report said.
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs asserted that Al Qaida-aligned groups were growing in the Gaza Strip. The report, authored by the center's president and former Israeli ambassador Dore Gold, said Hamas and Al Qaida have developed operational links and share strategic goals."Hamas definitely sees itself as part of a global jihadi network, even if it has never attacked U.S. territory, like Al Qaida," the report, titled "The Expansion of Al Qaida-Affiliated Jihadi Groups in Gaza: Diplomatic Implications," said. "True, the two organizations had strong tactical differences at times over such questions as entering into election races, but their long-term aims remained the same nonetheless."
The report said Al Qaida and Hamas increased coordination in wake of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Gold cited U.S. government statements of Hamas links to Al Qaida figures in Yemen as well as Hamas's use of Al Qaida in attack operations.
In 2006, the report said, Al Qaida operatives entered the Gaza Strip from such countries as Egypt, Sudan and Yemen. At the same time, the Army of Islam joined Hamas in the infiltration of an Israel Army base and capture of a soldier.
"It may be easier to point out the similarities between Hamas in Gaza and the Taliban in Afghanistan, both of which provide refuge to Al Qaida branches," the report said. "If the West does not recognize the Taliban, it should apply the same rules to Hamas."

January 23, 2010
Gates Says Taliban Must Take Legitimate Afghan Role

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The United States recognizes that the Taliban are now part of the political fabric of Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here on Friday, but the group must be prepared to play a legitimate role before it can reconcile with the Afghan government.

That means, Mr. Gates said, that the Taliban must participate in elections, not oppose education and not assassinate local officials.

“The question is whether the Taliban at some point in this process are ready to help build a 21st-century Afghanistan or whether they still just want to kill people,” Mr. Gates said.

The defense secretary made his remarks in an interview with Pakistani journalists at the home of the American ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson. Mr. Gates was on the second day of a two-day visit to the country.

American officials have given qualified support to a proposed Afghan initiative to provide jobs, security and social benefits to Taliban followers who defect. Mr. Gates has said there could be a surge of such followers willing to be integrated into Afghan society, but he has voiced skepticism about whether the Taliban leadership is ready to work peacefully with the Afghan government.

“The question is, what do the Taliban want to make out of Afghanistan?” Mr. Gates told the journalists. “When they tried before, we saw what they wanted to make, and it was a desert, culturally and in every other way.”

Later on Friday, Mr. Gates told a group of senior Pakistani military officers that the Pakistani Army had to reshape and adapt itself to fighting insurgencies, much as he said the American military had after years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Gates implicitly said that the real threat to Pakistan was the collection of militant groups on the border with Afghanistan and not its archrival in the region, India.

“Fighting along the Afghan border and in the tribal areas has required dramatically different skill sets and equipment than preparing for a potential conventional conflict with another country’s army,” Mr. Gates said in remarks at Pakistan’s National Defense University, the country’s main scholarly institution for the military.

In a question-and-answer session afterward, which was closed to the news media, one officer made the argument to Mr. Gates that Pakistan’s problems with militants on its border were the fault of the United States, according to the Pentagon press secretary, Geoff Morrell. In the nine-year-old war in Afghanistan, the American military has driven Islamic extremists across the border into Pakistan and as a result, according to Mr. Morrell, the tone of the officer’s question to Mr. Gates was “Hey, we’re in this mess because of you.”

Mr. Gates “took great exception,” Mr. Morrell said, and responded that the situation in Afghanistan was unsustainable after the withdrawal of the Russians from the country in 1989 and that Al Qaeda’s goal was to destabilize the democratic institutions in the entire region. “The notion that you could somehow be immune from them or not a target of this grand plan of theirs is just not realistic,” Mr. Morrell quoted Mr. Gates as saying.

In his formal remarks, Mr. Gates had acknowledged the current “trust deficit” between Pakistan and the United States, and said it had tainted Pakistan’s perception of the United States.

“So let me say, definitively,” Mr. Gates said, “that the United States does not covet a single inch of Pakistani soil, we seek no military bases here and we have no desire to control Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.”

Source: forwarded email

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems as if there isn't a difference anymore between Hamas and Al Qaeda in their tactics