Ex-MI chief calls for int'l intel pool to combat al-Qaida

Farkash: 1,000 foreign volunteers from all over world have joined al-Qaida in Iraq.

farkash 298 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
farkash 298 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Calling for the establishment of an international "intelligence pool" to combat al-Qaida, former Military Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. (res.) Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash said Monday that countries like the United States and Great Britain need to start to "view their Muslim populations differently" and as a potential threat. "We need to now recruit a number of intelligence organizations from leading countries and create an unusual partnership to counter the challenges posed by al-Qaida," Farkash said during a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. He called for forging the partnership as soon as possible, while "the terror groups are still in first grade in the development of their capabilities." Farkash said that in the past year and a half, 1,000 foreign volunteers from around the world had joined al-Qaida insurgents in Iraq in their fight against coalition forces. A third of the volunteers crossed into Iraq through Syria, he said, and despite US condemnation and international isolation, President Bashar Assad had refused to seal the border out of fear the al-Qaida cells would then attack his regime. INSS scholar Yoram Schweitzer said al-Qaida's failure to repeat a 9/11-like mega attack demonstrated the terrorist movement's difficulties, as well as the West's success in foiling its plans. Schweitzer warned, however, that al-Qaida was very patient. "Time has a different meaning for them," he said. "Patience is a fundamental principle in their ideology and they are determined and believe that their success is guaranteed by God."