(photo credit: AP)
The online jihadi presence has once again sent its long tentacles into Israel,
using the Internet to circumvent 20th century border controls to exert its lethal
influence on a group of Arab Israeli men.
At least seven suspects from
Nazareth and the surrounding area declared their allegiance to al-Qaida and its
global holy war thanks to online indoctrination, according to security
The process was made possible by the array of jihadi Web sites
that indoctrinate recruits and provide them with tips on how to operate
and assemble explosives.
Al-Qaida’s main point of access into Israel is
via the Web, just as the Internet has opened the door to international
doctrines and incitement to violence in dozens of other Western
The Salafi ideology championed by Osama bin Laden and his deputy,
Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been adopted by many others who have set up
groups around the world. They all aim at nothing less than the
a global Islamic caliphate to replace the current world order.
international jihadi movement scorns Hamas, which is viewed by Salafis
fixated on Palestinian nationalism, and is keen to set up a jihadi
polity in any
place on Earth that it can, be it in Gaza, Afghanistan or Somalia.
jihadis urge one another to travel to destinations seen as likely
the next caliphate, such as Somalia, the country which the seven
attempted to enter to join the brigades of “holy warriors,” before they
intercepted by the authorities in Kenya.
Many of the ideas dominating the
global jihadi movement have evolved out of the writings of Egyptian
(1906-1966), who argued that no country on Earth qualifies as a true
Islam” if it fails to turn the Koran into its official constitution and
a Taliban-like regime.
“The rest of the world is the home of hostility
[Dar al-Harb]. A Muslim can have only two possible relations with Dar
peace with a contractual agreement, or war,” Qutb wrote in his book,
today a bible for jihadi recruits.
Such ideas threaten the stability of
every Middle Eastern state, from Jordan to Egypt to Saudi Arabia; all
bin Laden’s adherents as Western puppets.
Israel has traditionally been
less of an urgent target for al-Qaida, which was keen on focusing on
Arab and Asian states. But that changed in 2008, when bin Laden released
online audio recording calling for his soldiers of terror to target
“We will continue, God permitting, the fight against the Israelis
and their allies... and will not give up a single inch of Palestine as
there is one true Muslim on Earth,” bin Laden declared.
released his message in May 2008, to coincide with Israel’s 60th
Two months later, two Israeli Beduin from the Negev town of Rahat were
with plotting terrorist attacks over the Internet with al- Qaida members
overseas and marking out civilian and military sites in Israel for
including the landmark Azrieli towers in Tel Aviv.
In April 2009, a
terrorist cell made up of six Israeli fellahim and a Beduin from the
arrested and charged with preparing several bombs and simulating the
of soldiers while engaging in Internet communications with a terrorist
based in Gaza, known as “Abu Kassam.”
Israeli security forces will likely
increase their own undercover online presence, in an effort to keep the
everpresent online jihadi presence at bay.Yaakov Lappin will publish a
Virtual Caliphate on the use of the internet by jihadis in September, to be published by Potomac Books.