Daesh pledges geno­cide but is ‘no real threat’

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY AN­SHEL PF­EF­FER

A GLIDER pi­lot, spot­ted by an IDF ob­ser­va­tion post as he was cross­ing over the Is­rael-Syria bor­der late on Satur­day af­ter­noon, sparked a state of emer­gency and an Is­raeli me­dia black­out.

As he­li­copters, fighter jets and com­mando teams were scram­bled to the Golan Heights, the main con­cern within Is­rael was that a recre­ational flyer had been swept by the wind into Syria and fallen into the hands of rad­i­cal Is­lamist rebels.

Af­ter sev­eral tense hours, it tran­spired that the pi­lot was an Is­raeli-Arab res­i­dent who seems to have crossed the bor­der in­ten­tion­ally to join a small rebel group af­fil­i­ated with Daesh.

The flap up north co­in­cided with the re­lease on­line of the first He­brew-lan­guage Daesh pro­pa­ganda video. It was well-pro­duced, as other such videos usu­ally are, and its pro­tag­o­nist spoke in rel­a­tively flu­ent He­brew.

It in­cluded the prom­ise that the Is­lamic State would soon turn its sights on Is­rael and that “not a sin­gle Jew will re­main in Jerusalem and Pales­tine”.

Since large Daesh forces are nowhere near Is­rael’s bor­ders — the only sig­nif­i­cant one in south­ern Syria is around 80 miles from the Golan — it is al­most cer­tainly a pub­lic­ity stunt aimed at cap­i­tal­is­ing on the re­cent wave of stab­bing at­tacks in Is­rael. Daesh does not need to pro­duce videos in He­brew to gain Pales­tinian fol­low­ers, how­ever.

Last week­end’s glider pi­lot was just one of over 40 Is­raeli Arabs who have either trav­elled to Syria — via Turkey — or tried to or­gan­ise lo­cal Daesh cells.

Most of those who have re­turned have been ar­rested. The ma­jor­ity are still be­lieved to be ac­tive in Syria or Iraq, and at least two of them are thought to have been killed in fight­ing.

Daeshisal­soac­tivein Si­nai, where the An­sar bait al-Mak­das group, which con­sists of a few hun­dred Egyp­tian Is­lamist­sandBe­douins, pledged al­le­giance to the Is­lamic State’s caliph ear­lier this year and have since killed over 100 Egyp­tian se­cu­rity per­son­nel.

The con­sen­sus within the Is­raeli se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ment is that be­yond the re­cruit­ment of a few dozen im­pres­sion­able young­sters, Daesh cur­rently has lit­tle di­rect sig­nif­i­cance for Is­rael.

The main ef­fect Daesh is hav­ing on the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict is in en­cour­ag­ing ter­ror at­tacks on­line.

“They are not on our hori­zon and nei­ther are we on theirs,” said one se­nior IDF of­fi­cer this week. “They have enough trou­ble to con­tend with in Syria and Iraq.” Daesh video call­ing for the killing of Jews in Is­rael


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