The al Qaeda-ISM Terror Connection
By Lee Kaplan and the Stop the ISM Team
Most people have short memories, but here’s something that calls for remembering:
Last year, Front Page Magazine ran an article about links between the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and the London bombings on 7/7 that left 52 dead and hundreds wounded.
Evidence back then showed that the explosives used in the London subway attacks were found by British and Israeli intelligence officials to be remarkably similar to those used in a 2003 bombing of the “Mike’s Place” bar in Israel. Related to this, Israel National News reported also that British and Israeli intelligence reports showed that one of the terrorists involved had a British passport, arrived in Israel on February 19, 2003, and stayed for only one day. During his stay, he may have met with Asif Hanif and Omar Sharif. Both of the men, with the assistance of Hamas, would later become suicide bombers. Hanif and Sharif traveled from Britain to Israel under the auspices of the ISM’s Alternative Tourism Group, the precursor to the ISM. Both terrorists told Israeli border police they were entering for purposes of Alternative Tourism and met with the ISM in Gaza at a memorial for Rachel Corrie where they “had tea.”
The Alternative Tourism Program, created by Ghassan Andoni, a Bir Zeit University physics professor, metastasized into the International Solidarity Movement with Andoni’s guidance and the activism work in the USA carried out by Palestinian Marxist- communists like George Rishmawi, Adam Shapiro, his wife, Huwaida Arraf and Neta Golan. The ISM, also known as the Palestine Solidarity Movement, then became active across the USA on college campuses. That started in 2001 during the Second Intifada. The ISM began recruiting other college-aged anarchists and communists and Arab students on US campuses to become human shields for terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza. Rachel Corrie, a college-aged anarchist from Evergreen College in Washington State, died demonstrating with the ISM when she placed her body in front of an IDF bulldozer. The ISM’s long-term goal as a communist-anarchist movement is to first dismantle Israel as a capitalist democratic state for the PLO Islamists and their pan-Arab cause, and then to bring the “revolution” back here to the United States to do the same at home on our border with Mexico.
Plans are already being made with other subversive groups in the United States to do this. Groups such as La Voz De Aztlan, a Marxist irredentist group, plan on joining up with Palestinian and Arab-Muslim students and their anarchist-communist allies on US campuses to bring the same activities to our border with Mexico as are seen in the West Bank attacking the security fence in the not so distant future.
Now comes new evidence of a link between the ISM and al Qaeda.
Abd al Hadi al-Iraq, a.k.a. Abu Abdullah, 45, who is considered by the CIA as of one of Osama bin Laden’s most talented operations officers, was just captured and should be a boon to US intelligence in the War on Terror. People now say he represents the link between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and al Qaeda, thus justifying our presence in Iraq. But people have yet to see the link to the International Solidarity Movement.
Al Hadi is an Iraqi and uses the nom de guerre “Abu Abdallah” (father of Abdallah) in a style usually used by Palestinian terrorists. Being Iraqi, Abu Abdullah is part of the closest allies of the PLO and Hamas, the Ba’ath Party in Iraq. However, Abu Abdullah was captured crossing into Iraq from Iran. Recent intelligence reports have remarked at how the Sunnis who make up Hamas in Gaza are now getting money, weapons and training from Iran’s Shiiite majority state to be used against Israel. For anyone claiming al Qaeda has nothing to do with Iraq or 9/11, the Iranian-al Qaeda connection is now obvious. But according to an interview I had with a former Iraqi national police sergeant who is now exiled in the United States, the Iraqi police were always hamstrung in arresting many Ba’athists who broke the law, even for murder or robbery, because they also clandestinely belonged to al Qaeda. According to the former national police officer, that included members of Iraq’s national police as well.
The Pentagon has reported that Abu Abdullah had responsibility for managing al Qaeda’s affairs and possibly even focusing on operations outside Iraq against Western targets. Interrogated by US Forces, he has now been credited with the first direct al Qaeda suicide attack on Israeli soil—an attack in which the ISM was linked to. That attack on Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv as reported earlier here at Front Page Magazine is now alleged to have been carried out on direct orders from Osama bin Laden due to the information obtained from Abu Abdullah. Three Israelis were killed, including an Israeli army officer whose family resided in Israel since 1858, and sixty people were wounded.
Al Hadi recruited the two British Muslims of Pakistani origin who entered the Holy Land through Jordan using Ghandoni’s Alternative Tourism as an excuse, and then proceeded directly to meeting with ISM leaders just before their attack. Both terrorists were English-speaking and had EU passports. They were recruited by Abu Abdullah at the notoriously WahhabistFinsbury Park Mosque in London. The ISM also has a major presence, especially on college campuses, in London and the UK.
Since the explosives used in London on 7/7 could be linked to the ISM through the Mike’s Place bombing, the involvement of al Qaeda also infers how the ISM may have been the place where the terrorists picked up those explosives prior to the Tel Aviv attack, since the terrorists would have been unable to smuggle explosives in through Jordan prior to meeting “for tea” with ISM activists. Israeli intelligence reports showed the two killers only met with the ISM, an organization that has consistently called terrorist attacks “legitimate resistance.” To this day, no one knows who for certain gave them or where in Gaza the two terrorists picked up their bomb and received instructions on where to attack, but it is clear they met with the ISM and now those same two terrorists are known to be linked inextricably to al Qaeda by Abu Abdullah.
Sharif failed to detonate his bomb belt after Hanif exploded himself in the busy bar, a hangout for Americans in Tel Aviv. After fleeing the scene, Sharif was found later floating face down in the Mediterranean. Palestinian terrorists do not murder their own kind who fail on suicide missions, knowing that the Israelis have no death penalty and that in the future they may even be released from prison in negotiations or prisoner swaps. As mentioned, Western intelligence agencies feel the capture and information from Abu Abdullah show the international terrorism network is not made up of just disparate groups with myriad goals. Al Qaeda and bin Laden can now be linked to Hamas and the PLO. The fact that Sharif, a British national, may have known too much about the ISM and al Qaeda being behind his attack may have prompted Hamas to liquidate him not just for the al Qaeda link, but for the one to the ISM as well. There was simply too much to lose, because had the connection to the ISM been established exposing the network of the terrorist-support movement that is found on so many campuses throughout the USA and most of Europe, it might have led to its demise.
Homeland Security needs to take an even deeper look into the ISM and if Abu Abdullah himself ever had contacts with ISM leadership in the USA and Europe during his operational activities for bin Laden.