One of the first concrete acts that the Bush administration took in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks was to outlaw the Holy Land Fund for Relief and Development and freeze its financial assets. The HLF was one of the principal funding arms of Hamas. Israel had tracked its financial activities for over a decade, and had repeatedly requested that the US take action against it, but the requests came to nothing until after 9/11.
In an article in National Review from December 2002, terrorism investigators Ritz Katz and James Mitre documented that HLF, like several other US-registered non-profits that since September 11 have been closed down or placed under federal investigation, was funding arms not only for Hamas but also for al-Qaida. The Saudi-headquartered International Islamic Relief Organization; Benevolence International Foundation; and terror financier Yassin al-Qadi, to name just a few, were all funneling millions to both Hamas and al-Qaida.
Hamas and al-Qaida share more than financial networks. They share the same ideological roots. Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In his column in The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Daniel Pipes noted that in February, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before the Senate's Intelligence Committee that Hamas's "US network is theoretically capable of facilitating acts of terrorism in the US." As well, a senior US counterterrorism official was quoted stating that Hamas is merging with elements of al-Qaida's "all inclusive military arm that will carry out military strikes" against the US.
So, a cursory glance at the wealth of documentation regarding Islamic terror organizations shows that Hamas and al-Qaida are linked financially, ideologically and operationally. This, at the same time as the know-it-alls from Washington to London to Riyadh insist that the Palestinian terror war against Israel has no connection to the global jihad being launched by the likes of "real" terrorists, such as Osama bin Laden and (Palestinian) Abu Musab Zarkawi.
The terror attacks in Madrid in March 2004 brought about the fall of the pro-American Spanish government of Jose Maria Anzar. Bush supporters were quick to condemn Spain's new leader, the leftist Jose Luis Zapatero, for his decision to immediately pull the Spanish military contingent out of Iraq to appease the terrorists who struck Madrid. The newly elected Spanish government, it was argued, was telling the terrorists that terrorism pays, thereby increasing the likelihood of attacks throughout the world.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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