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July 2, 2015 1:35 pm

Security Expert: Jews Are ‘Soft Target’ for Competing Islamic State and Al-Qaeda

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Jewish sites are a “soft target” for Muslim extremist groups vying for influence in the radicalized Muslim world, Nick Kaderbhai, a research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London told the Jewish Chronicle on Thursday.

“Jews are an obvious target, a soft target. An Islamist could call for an attack on a piece of infrastructure but in the end it’s easier to go and firebomb a shul,” he said.

Peter Neumann, the director at the ICSR said Jewish institutions would suffer the turf and ideological war between Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, both Sunni extremist groups that are engaged in conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Egypt’s Sinai peninsula and elsewhere.

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Their comments underline concerns among Jewish communities in Europe that feel especially vulnerable after deadly terrorist attacks in France and Denmark earlier this year, and Belgium last year.

In March, a European anti-terrorism official warned that Al Qaeda could launch terrorist attacks on the continent to prove it had not lost the leadership of global jihad.

“There is a fierce competition between Al Qaeda and Daesh,” said EU counterterrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

For now the competition is largely unfolding in the Middle East. In Yemen, for example, terrorists linked to the Islamic State are attacking Shia Houthi rebels, which themselves are engaged in combat with an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which questions the dominance of the massive Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

And in Egypt this week, a group that once pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda under the moniker Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, but switched its affiliation to the Islamic State and changed its name to Wilayat Sina, or Sinai Province, carried out a series of simultaneous attacks against Egyptian security forces in Sinai on Wednesday in what Egypt said was the largest attack against its army since the 1973 Yom Kippur war with Israel.

What is clear is that the Islamic State has shown its ability to strike targets worldwide: just last week the group claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Kuwait, France and Tunisia, the latter at a beach in the North African country in which a lone gunman slaughtered 39 foreign tourists including 30 British nationals before he was killed by Tunisian police.

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  • Is there a shortage of weapons of mass destruction in Israel or what? It is time to teach the Muslims a lesson. Please Netanyahu don’t wait for them to attack Israel first, or else it will be late to defend yourselves. I wish you good luck in your plans to wipe out all the Muslims from the surface of this earth and may God help you to fulfill that. Shalom, peace be upon you.

  • Claude Salama

    Sorry. But I think the writer has absolutely not understood ISIS complex strategy about Jews Dr Claude Salama

  • Vivienne Havalant (Leijonhufvud)

    History so frequently repeats it self. The problems with Islam including Egypt have been ongoing since WWII. Israel has always been the target of antagonism from all its Arab neighbors. Egypt has had an undercurrent of aggression since ’87. The tourist trade at this time was lucrative, however, it was not difficult to ascertain through the local Arabic community what was a foot and coming? Enthusiastic young males and somewhat educated young Arabs are always thrilled to impress a Matriarch accompanied by her daughter. I had the occasion to be privy to a bunch of Arabs in their Salon where talk is easy under the influence of Hukkah pipes! Egypt has been brewing for almost 20 years and I will reiterate there is major conflict in the near future. War between Oil producing nations who are desperate to control Oil production outside their own shores. The middle east is drying up apart from Israel, already insidious Saudi’s and their money through Shell International has purchased Oil fields in Europe, Mexico, Indonesia Africa and others, including the west coast of the Republic of Ireland. We have to fight against the interloper.

  • PETER JOFFE

    What is clear is that the Muslim world, and that includes all Muslims (either passive or devout and active)is at war with the rest of the world and we need to stop them. Every Muslim is guided by the Qu-ran and support what the book says or do what the book says they should do. We will not win this war by being politically correct and, as is the case in Tunisia we have to stop the cause of the killings and not supply more security as there never can be enough security. Why should we sun tan on a beach with armed guards all over the place and who is guarding the guards? Islam and Muslims are the curse of the 21st Century.

  • richard mallin

    It’s a good thing I don’t live in Israel. I would have been on the govt. to make war against Iranian nuclear installations for the last six years. They have this convoluted idea that everything will get better if they do nothing. Wake up, the Iranians are so strong and you are their only obstacle in conquering the Mideast. Once they destroy you the others will melt like butter and even if the Saudis or the Egyptians would count on you,
    there will be no Israel. Even if several million Muslims will die, that’s no significance to Iran. China, Russia and the US will give only lip service. They will be no match for the Persian horde.

  • Howard Kahan

    It is still ringing in my ears, “ISIS is the JV”. How quickly they became the VARSITY on the obama watch. They could have been brought to their knees by now, instead they are now becoming a major world threat. I blame obama and only him for the problem.

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