IDF intel chief: Syria turning into jihadi center ‘on our border’

Maj.-Gen. Kochavi speaking at completion of intel course for officers warns that Syria attracting radical jihadis.

July 24, 2013 00:30
Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi

Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi 390. (photo credit: Courtesy IDF Spokesman’s Office)

Short-term risks to Israel are on the rise, and the seeds for new threats are being planted in some arenas, OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi warned on Tuesday.

He spoke during a ceremony marking the completion of an intelligence course for officers.

While acknowledging that in the long run, the winds of regional events “might bring opportunity and change,” Kochavi said that for the time being, Syria furnished the “most disturbing example” of risk.

It is attracting “thousands of radical jihadi activists from the area and the world, who are basing themselves in the country, not only to topple Assad, but also to promote the vision of an Islamic religious state,” he said.

“Before our eyes, a global jihadi center is developing on our doorstep, on a large scale, which might influence not only Syria, and not only the State of Israel, but also Lebanon, Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula, and could impact the whole region,” Kochavi said.

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