ISIS to Israel: “We’re coming very soon”

Please see the source for the video.

 

The last 48 hours (May 7-8) have seen a major escalation of the ISIS threats against Israel, debkafile’s intelligence and counterterrorism sources report. In a coordinated maneuver by all of the ISIS commands in the Middle East, the terrorist organization simultaneously released at least 10 videos that it said showed ISIS forces on their way to attack targets in Israel. Continue reading

Israel, Egypt, Jordan, enter ‘unprecedented’ intelligence-sharing agreement

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, General Golan said that intelligence was “the most important element in the whole system” when fighting an insurgency of the kind that the Islamic State is conducting in the Middle East. He went on to point out that Egypt is currently engaged in a war against Islamic State forces in the Sinai Peninsula, while “Jordan is terrified by the presence of the Islamic State in [its] cities and towns”. At the same time, Israel tries to “work with them in order to contribute something to their security”, he added, referring to Egypt and Jordan. Continue reading

U.S. defense intelligence chief predicts increased ISIS attacks

Speaking to a security conference, Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart linked his warning to the militant group’s establishment of “emerging branches” in Mali, Tunisia, Somalia, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Continue reading

Is Egypt About to Fall Into Chaos—Again?

The crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula is just the latest weight on the shoulders of Egypt’s beleaguered President Sisi.

For Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, it could not have come at a worse time.

On Saturday, October 31, a passenger plane carrying mostly Russian nationals fell from the sky over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 on board. Initially, the Egyptian government (as well as the Russian) did their best to quell any suggestion that terrorism was the cause. Yet within a week, the United Kingdom had halted flights in and out of the popular tourist destination of Sharm el-Sheikh, declaring that the crash was most likely the result of a bomb on board.

Continue reading

‘So-called progress’: U.S. admits ISIL is just as strong as when bombing campaign began a year ago

Almost a year after the United States began its multi-billion-dollar military campaign to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the jihadist group shows no signs of weakening, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Its hold on social media and flow of oil revenue means it can draw on a steady stream of recruits and has held almost all its territory, despite losing 10,000 fighters. It has managed to expand into new theatres in Libya, Egypt’s Sinai peninsula and Afghanistan.

“We’ve seen no meaningful degradation in their numbers,” a defence official said, citing estimates that put the group’s strength at 20,000 to 30,000 fighters, the same as when the strikes began last August. Continue reading

Ships cross Egypt’s New Suez Canal in first test-run

The first cargo ships passed through Egypt’s New Suez Canal on Saturday in a test-run before it opens next month, state media reported, 11 months after the army began constructing the $8 billion canal alongside the existing 145-year-old Suez Canal.

The new waterway, which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hopes will help expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia, will be formally inaugurated on Aug. 6. Continue reading

Large-scale Egyptian army massed for operation to capture eastern Libya from ISIS

The Middle East is on the brink of its fourth war (after Syria, Iraq and Yemen). debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report that Egypt is massing large-scale ground and air forces in the Western Desert along the Libyan border, in preparation for a military campaign to capture eastern Libya – Cyrenaica – from the Islamist State of Syria and Iraq – ISIS – occupation.

The substantial naval and marine forces assembling at Egypt’s Mediterranean ports indicate the possible launching of the offensive by dropping Egyptian marines on the Libyan coast around Derna (pop: 100,000), which ISIS has made its provincial capital. They may be accompanied by simultaneous landings of paratroops from the air. Continue reading

The U.S. Must Deny Russian Influence in Egypt

In the violent aftermath of the Egyptian military’s removal of Mohamed Morsi from power, the United States has tried to send a message with limited suspensions of aid. As the security situation on the Sinai Peninsula continues to deteriorate, re-engaging Egypt in counterterrorism efforts is warranted. The administration’s oscillating decisions to maintain, halt, and then reinstate this type of security assistance have been confusing at best and harmful at worst. Egypt’s need for satellite services (including launch capabilities) to address the growing problem of insurgents in the Sinai is a key national security concern to Egypt, Israel, and the U.S.

On the geopolitical stage, the fact that Russia has stepped in to solve Egypt’s technology services gap should further motivate the U.S. to action.The Egyptian sentiment that the U.S. has turned its back on them in their hour of need has left an opening for other players to provide financial and technical military assistance. Attempting to preserve the appearance of propriety and support a democratically elected leader, exert regional influence, and keep radical Islamists out of office, Washington has fallen short and created a vacuum whereby a pro-Syrian Russia has moved in to further its strategic regional interests. Continue reading

Major U.S. city next target for Islamic terror

ISIS militants not planning to stop in Iraq

WASHINGTON – Beyond Iraq, what is the intent of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria?

There appears to be short- and long-term goals, with a hint of those intentions in the name ISIS has chosen for itself.

Its real name is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, meaning Greater Syria.

ISIS, morphing from the Islamic State of Iraq before it was excommunicated from al-Qaida central in Pakistan last year for its extreme Wahhabi brutality, appears to have intentions of re-creating Greater Syria into an Islamic caliphate, subject to strict Shariah law. Continue reading

The New Map of the Middle East

 

The map you see above, and also embedded below, was the main illustration for the piece, which appeared in the January/February 2008 issue. I introduced the conceit of the story this way:

As America approaches the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the list of the war’s unintended consequences is without end (as opposed to the list of intended consequences, which is, so far, vanishingly brief). The list includes, notably, the likelihood that the Kurds will achieve their independence and that Iraq will go the way of Gaul and be divided into three parts—but it also includes much more than that. Across the Middle East, and into south-central Asia, the intrinsically artificial qualities of several states have been brought into focus by the omnivorous American response to the attacks of 9/11; it is not just Iraq and Afghanistan that appear to be incoherent amalgamations of disparate tribes and territories. The precariousness of such states as Lebanon and Pakistan, of course, predates the invasion of Iraq. But the wars against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and especially Saddam Hussein have made the durability of the modern Middle East state system an open question in ways that it wasn’t a mere seven years ago. Continue reading

Israeli green light for big Egyptian Sinai offensive, after Islamists fail to assassinate Egyptian general

Israel Thursday July 11 approved a major Egyptian offensive for curbing the mounting aggression in Sinai of armed Salafis gangs, Muslim Brotherhood raiders and Hamas terrorists. A day earlier, Egypt’s Second Army commander, Maj.-Gen. Ahmad Wasfi, who is assigned to lead the offensive, escaped unhurt from an attempt on his life. Some of his bodyguards and soldiers were killed. Continue reading

South Israel on alert for multiple al Qaeda strike. Iron Dome posted

Incoming intelligence of Al Qaeda groups in the Sinai Peninsula winding up preparations for a multiple attack on an Israeli location, such as Eilat, and a US military target in the Negev, has put southern Israel and US forces posted there on high terror alert. This is reported by debkafile’s military sources.

The Israeli high command decided to treat the five Qassam rockets fired at Shear Hanegev Wednesday, April 3, which were claimed by the Al Qaeda-affiliated Salafist “Jihad Brigades in Jerusalem.” as the opening salvo for this coordinated attack. An Iron Dome battery was accordingly moved Thursday to the Israeli-Egyptian border north of the southern port of Eilat and additional IDF strength directed to the South.

Heavy sandstorms in the region have sharply reduced visibility for troop movements and provided excellent cover for terrorist infiltration. Continue reading

Truck with rockets, artillery shells captured enroute to Gaza

CAIRO — Egypt, pressed by Israel and the United States, have
reported the seizure of a major rocket shipment bound for the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Egyptian security forces were said to have captured one of the largest weapons transport smuggled from Libya and headed for the Gaza Strip.

Officials said Egyptian military and police units intercepted a truck near Libya that contained 108 BM-21 Grad rockets and 400,000 rounds of anti-aircraft artillery shells. Later, the Egyptian-controlled media said about 20,000 rounds were found. Continue reading

Egypt confronts Israel with 6,000 Sinai Islamists as an approved militia

The uprooting of 30 years of stability in the Arab region has now brought about its first fruition. Meet your newly created Egyptian regime:

To keep the truce with the Islamist terrorist networks in Sinai in place, while avoiding a large-scale military operation to suppress them, Egypt is now releasing dozens of jailed Salafist gunmen in batches every few days, so feeding the Islamists a steady supply of reinforcements. Cairo is also in negotiation with Bedouin tribal elders to grant a body of 6,000 Al-Qaeda-linked Salafi gunmen the status of an approved, independent militia. Armed with up-to-date Egyptian weapons, this militia is to be charged with responsibility for maintaining security in the peninsula.

Israeli security circles on the southern front familiar with the Sinai security situation explain that the Egyptian army’s claim Monday, Sept. 3 that it pulled “another 20 tanks” out of the peninsula, marking the tail end of its putative counter-terror military offensive, was therefore the reverse of welcome news for Israel.

Thursday, Aug. 30 Defense Minister Ehud Barak said: ”The Egyptians must combat terror and if they need to bring extra military strength into Sinai [for this purpose], we should let them.”

As he spoke, Egyptian spokesmen claimed the tanks, illegally deployed in breach of the peace treaty with Israel, were being withdrawn at the end of a “successful military offensive” to root out the terrorists.

This statement, say debkafile’s counter-terror sources, contains at least two untruths: The tanks were falsely presented as backing a fictitious Egyptian operation, just as the Cairo communiqué pretended that large numbers of terrorists were killed and wounded “in action” or detained.

There were no terrorist casualties because the entire operation was made of whole cloth, a Sinai desert mirage.

That the Netanyahu government and defense chiefs went along with this fiction is the real issue.

Our military sources report this strip has been dubbed “The American Highway” of Sinai, because its 260 kilometers were paved in secret by US military engineers. It runs from the MFO peacekeepers’ Mediterranean base at Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai down to Taba, providing a safe route for the peacekeepers, most of them members of the US 82nd Airborne Division, between their northern base and their headquarters at Sharm el-Sheikh.
Large sections of the American Highway run parallel to Israel’s Route 12 from Nitzana to Eilat, Israel’s southernmost town.

Full article: Egypt confronts Israel with 6,000 Sinai Islamists as an approved militia (DEBKAfile)

Egypt considering violating peace treaty with Israel

A country that has kept stability in the Arab world for over 30 years, now radicalized after being overturned by the current White House administration, has now become openly hostile to a traditional US ally in the region, Israel.

Islamist president sending troops, tanks to border region

NEW YORK – Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi is studying the possibility of keeping tanks in the Sinai Peninsula on a permanent basis, according to a senior Egyptian military official who spoke to WND.

The military buildup would violate a key provision of peace accords signed with Israel in 1979 that calls for the total demilitarization of the peninsula.

Over the last two weeks, there have been reports of Egypt sending in light tanks, armored vehicles and attack helicopters in the Sinai purportedly to fight Islamic groups blamed for a spate of attacks and attempted attacks against both Israel and Egyptian police.

The Egyptian military leadership has long been considered a quiet ally of Israel’s own defense establishment.

However, Morsi’s most recent unilateral sacking of the Egyptian military brass has now sent alarm bells ringing across Israel. The move signals the centralization of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood coalition and his presidency’s dominance over the military, which has long been seen as an independent force.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders over the years have called for Egypt to abandon the peace treaty signed with Israel. The treaty was the basis for the opening of billions of dollars in U.S. aid that built the Egyptian military into one of the strongest forces in the Middle East today, perhaps second only to Israel.

Full article: Egypt considering violating peace treaty with Israel (WND)