- Published: Monday, December 28, 2015 - 2:19 PM
- Tags: Al-Baghdadial-Sisi;Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis; Wilayat Sinai:Islamic State;Israel;GazaEgyptISISJurgen Todenhofer; Ronen BergmanMossadSinai
Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released his first audio message in seven months on Saturday. In the 23-minute audio recording, he threatened Israel and mocked the enemies of the Islamic State.
Al-Baghdadi said ISIS has not forgotten Israel and vowed to expand the Caliphate to “Palestine” soon.
“The Jews thought we forgot Palestine and that they had distracted us from it. Not at all Jews, we did not forget Palestine for a moment. With the help of Allah, we will not forget it… The pioneers of the jihadist fighters will surround you on a day that you think is distant, and we know is close. We are getting closer every day.”
“You will never find comfort in Palestine, Jews. Palestine will not be your land or your home, but it will be a graveyard for you,” Al-Baghdadi declared.
The ISIS leader also used specific anti-Semitic language about an imminent new Holocaust. He said that Allah had gathered the Jews in Palestine so that it would be easier for Muslims to kill them.
“God caused the Jews of the world to gather in Palestine, and the war against them has become easy. It is the obligation of every Muslim to carry out jihad. Jews, you will not enjoy in Palestine. God has gathered you in Palestine so that the Mujahadeen can reach you soon and you will hide by the rock and the tree,” al-Baghdadi said in a reference to what the Quran says about the final Muslim battle against the Jews.
The ISIS leader also harshly criticized Saudi Arabia that recently formed a Muslim coalition to fight against Islamic State in Arab states. “’They announced lately a coalition falsely called ‘Islamic,’ and announced its goal is to fight the Caliphate. If it were an Islamic coalition, it would have declared itself free from its Jewish and Crusader lords, and made the killing of the Jews and the liberation of Palestine its goal,” al-Baghdadi said. He called upon Saudi citizens to rise against the monarchy and its ‘apostate tyrants.’
The leader of the self-proclaimed Caliphate mocked the US-led coalition that attempts to defeat ISIS via airstrikes. “Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets,” al-Baghdadi said.
Al-Baghdadi’s threats against Israel and the specific language he used to warn an attack on the Jewish state is not far away could be related to what is happening in the Sinai Peninsula on Israel’s southern border with Egypt.
Israeli Middle East expert Ronen Bergman, who has connections within the Israeli intelligence services, published an analysis about Wilayat Sinai this weekend. Wilayat Sinai is the ISIS branch in Egypt and Bergman reported that the organization is growing stronger all the time and now possesses advanced weapons.
Bergman interviewed Haim Tomer, the former chief of the Intelligence Division at the Mossad, who issued a clear warning on the ever increasing abilities of Islamic State after the downing of a Russian plane in northern Sinai in November. Bergman and Tomer call Wilayat Sinai by its old name Ansar Bayit al-Maqdis (ABAM).
“My instinct tells me that the explosion on the Russian plane was a terror attack. And if it indeed turns out that ABAM was behind it, we are talking about an incident with wide strategic significance. It proves that ISIS leader (Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi has the ability to operate through satellite organizations not only in Iraq but also in Syria, Lebanon, Africa and now in Sinai. If it’s true, he succeeded, in a very short time in terms of preparing and executing an operation, in taking revenge against the Russians for the war they are waging in Syria. If that is the case, his ability and his organization’s ability is much higher than we thought.”
“Regardless of the Russian plane crash, the ABAM organization is one of the most threatening and intriguing challenges faced by the Israeli and international security community. In this case, the challenge-and the threat-are only a few kilometers south of Eilat,” Bergman added.
Bergman wrote that Hamas is actively helping Islamic State in Sinai.
“In the past three years, Hamas has been significantly helping al-Maqdis to upgrade its military and operational abilities. While two years ago, al-Maqdis’ videos mainly documents peasants wearing ghalabias ( the long dress that most Bedouin wear) and equipped with small arms (Kalashnikov rifles and grenades), today they document activity on an entirely different level – with new communication means, advanced weapons, and camouflage and fighting abilities in a constructed area.
Today the organization operates different types of rockets, including Fajr, aerial defense systems warning against the Egyptian army’s depth charges (Israel has allowed Egypt to operate warplanes and assault helicopters against the organization in Sinai), advanced antitank missiles, antiaircraft shoulder-fired missiles, huge amounts of explosives, mortars with different diameters, advanced communication means, some of them coded, and satellite phones.”
On Monday Ynet in Israel reported that Wilayat Sinai has become ISIS’ most effective branch in the Middle East and that the IDF now believes Islamic State will try to attack Israel from the south and not from the Golan Heights. The military intelligence of the IDF is increasing its efforts to increase and improve the collection of intelligence and its monitoring of Islamic State’s Sinai Province, according to the Israeli news site.
The IDF is mainly relying on technological means to monitor the activities of the Islamic State in Sinai because it has been proven impossible to infiltrate Wilayat Sinai and because of the very difficult topographical conditions in the Sinai desert. The IDF is also cooperating with the Egyptian army in the battle against Islamic State in Sinai and has held several drills over the last few months in which scenarios were practiced of ISIS attacks on Eilat the resort town at the Red Sea and other Israeli border towns.
Meanwhile, the German reporter Jurgen Todenhofer who spent ten days in the Islamic State revealed that the Israeli Army is the only military that ISIS fears.
Todenhofer told Jewish News the following about ISIS’ awe for the IDF:
“The only country ISIS fears is Israel. They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.
They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies. But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists.
They are not scared of the British and the Americans, they are scared of the Israelis and told me the Israeli army is the real danger. ‘We can’t defeat them with our current strategy,’ (they said). ‘These people (the IDF) can fight a guerrilla war.'”