‘Daesh turn­ing its at­ten­tion to Is­rael’

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PFEFFER

IS­RAEL BE­LIEVES that an at­tack by Daesh is a mat­ter of time.

In their an­nual strate­gic as­sess­ment which was pre­sented to the cab­i­net ear­lier this month, the IDF’s in­tel­li­gence ex­perts said that the move­ment, cur­rently be­ing pushed back in Syria and Iraq, is likely to use its af­fil­i­ated groups on the Golan or Syr­ian bor­ders to launch an at­tack.

So far, Daesh has fo­cused on ex­pand­ing its strongholds in Syria, Iraq and Africa, and on launch­ing ter­ror at­tacks in Europe, but has not tar­geted Is­rael.

This could be about to change, es­pe­cially as a strike on Is­rael could boost Daesh’s stand­ing in the Mus­lim world.

In a video which was posted on­line in De­cem­ber, there is a record­ing of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Bagh­dadi, say­ing that “with the help of Al­lah, we are get­ting closer to you ev­ery day. The Is­raelis will soon see us in Pales­tine”.

Daesh’s Syr­ian bases are mostly far from Is­rael. How­ever, in the Golan, the lo­cal group Shuhada al-Yar­muk has pledged al­le­giance to the caliphate. So far it has con­cen­trated on fight­ing the Syr­ian army and ri­val rebel groups, but Is­raeli of­fi­cers say that “Daesh could de­cide to shift from lo­cal bat­tles to fight­ing Is­rael”.

On the Si­nai bor­der, the Salafist group once known as An­sar bait alMak­das is now op­er­at­ing as “Wil­layat Si­nai” — the Si­nai branch of Daesh.

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