THE WORLD’S FIRST AUTHORITATIVE NEWSLETTER OF
March 29, 2002
by Gordon Thomas
Israeli fighter-bomber squadrons equipped with battlefield tactical
nuclear weapons have been placed on "cock-pit standby."
are based at an airfield in Galilee – minutes only flying time from
Golan Heights which borders Syria has also been sown with neutron-type
bombs. Designed at Israel’s nuclear facility in the Negev desert, the
bombs are designed to 'kill soldiers and leave the infrastructure
intact,' was how one Israeli Defence Forces source described the
escalation of military preparations follows an urgent report from Mossad
chief Efraim Halevy to prime minister, Ariel Sharon, of 'credible
intelligence that both Syria and Iraq – who have held lengthy private
talks at the Beirut 'summit' this weekend – may be preparing to
intervene in the dangerously-out-of-control situation in the West Bank
the summit both counties were the strongest voices to pledge all-out
support for the PLO. Syria, with its massive army of 300,000 ground
troops and state of the art aircraft supplied by both Russia and China,
has always presented a credible threat to Israel.
hard-liners who run Syria make no secret it is only a matter of time
before the day of reckoning will come between Israel and Syria.
equal concern to Israel is Mossad’s intelligence that Saddam has some
100 kamikaze pilots within a few minutes flying time from Israeli cities
– and Dimona.
kamikazes are under the command of Saddam’s son, Qusay.
believe their aircraft are fitted with bio-chemical weapons.
the meantime, Mossad has also determined that Yasser Arafat's 'Academy
of Atrocity' -- from where the fifteen-year old suicide bomber graduated
-- is financed by Iraq. The money is laundered through the Central Bank
in Damascus to Athens. From there it is electronically transferred to an
account held by the Islamic Red Crescent – the equivalent of the Red
Cross – in Gaza City. It is then hand carried to the cells of the Al-Aqsa
Martyrs – the deadliest and most secret of extreme Islamic
organisations in the Middle East.
operates as a series of 'martyrdom cells.' Each cell consists of a
leader and two or three young men and women – suicide bombers.
months of intensive religious study – similar to that used by cults in
the West to indoctrinate their members – each student is given the
title 'shaded al hay' – the living martyr.
student is aged from 18 to 32 years. Until recently they were all male.
But since the escalation of the suicide bombings, women are admitted.
And children as young as eight years are being prepared for death.
certain, all are deeply religious. The mother of the Academy’s first
woman graduate, Wafa Ali Idris, who killed and wounded over 100 in
Jerusalem has said: 'My daughter always was well-informed about the
of the money that Iraq provides is to ensure that her family, like those
of every successful suicide bomber, is financially secure for all their
life. All the family’s debts are paid off – including those of
extended family members. Each immediate family member is given a
'pension' for the rest of their lives.
varies, but is generally said to be twice the income they received
before the suicide bomber struck.
each successful mission, money is used to distribute copies of the
martyr’s tapes to the media and to a number of Islamic organisations
throughout the world. A substantial sum is spent on the post-mission
party. Hundred of guests congregate at the home of the bomber to offer
their congratulations – much as at a wedding.
hosts serve juices and food that the bomber specified in his will. Often
the mother will ululate in joy over the honour Allah has bestowed on her
family,' said Professor Ariel Meran, a world-ranking authority on the
mentality of suicide bombers. He is among those who believe that
outsiders find it hard to understand martyrdom.
Ahmed Yassim, the spiritual leader of Hamas whom I interviewed after his
release from an Israeli prison in 1997 (a decision designed to ease
tension in the region) told me: 'Love of martyrdom is something you have
in your heart. You know, just know, this is what Allah wants from you.
That Allah wants you to do for him. So Allah selects the martyrs.'
bulk of the money that Iraq provides is used to finance the suicide
bomber instructors. They are reputed to receive salaries equal to that
of Arafat’s top aides. The money is thought to be held in secure
banks. Mossad and other intelligence agencies are trying to follow the
money trail in the hope it can bring them to capture the bombers.
Halevy has assigned over fifty of his top agents to do this. In all over
100 operatives, drawn from the other Israeli intelligence forces, are
hunting the instructors at the Academy of Atrocity.
the wake of the Passover Massacre, the first detailed picture has
emerged of how the bombers are selected.
selection process is lengthy – sometimes months. For everyone accepted
– there are a hundred volunteers. Turned away is anyone who is the
sole wage earner in his family, who is married. If two brothers
volunteer, only one is chosen.
lengthy interview with one of the Immams – priests – attached to the
Al-Aqsa Martyrs is the next step.
the preparations, each suicide bomber is repeatedly assured that on the
Day of Judgement he will be allowed, on entering Paradise to choose 70
of his relatives to join him there. The first sign a bomber is close to
graduation – during which he or she has spent up to nine hours a day
in prayers, on long fasts and studying the Koran – is when the bomber
is joined by two 'assistants.' Older men steeped in religious dogma,
their job is to ensure in those last days the bomber does not waver in
his readiness to die. His or her mind is focused on 'the glory' awaiting
him in Paradise. Of being finally in the presence of Allah. Of being
allowed to meet the Prophet Mohammed.
the time grows closer to his mission, the 'assistants' move the bomber
to a specially prepared room. Its walls are inscribed with verses from
the Koran. Between the verses are painted green birds flying in a purple
sky – a reminder they carry the soul of martyrs to Allah.
hours the 'assistants' and bombers pray together.
the time has finally come. The bomber places a copy of the Koran in his
left breast pocket above his heart. He straps the explosives around his
body. The detonator button is taped to his right hand palm.
to the target he leaves his 'assistants.' He is now alone, primed to die
– to take as many others with him as possible.
the moment before he presses the button, he reminds himself: 'Allah
akbar. Allah is great. All praise to Allah.'
mother of Wafa Ali Idris, the first woman suicide bomber, has said: 'She
died for what she believed in. That is what Allah wanted.'
the mother of an earlier suicide bomber, Ribbi Kahlout, had this requiem
for his dead son: 'If I had known what he would do, I would have taken a
knife and cut open my heart and stuffed him deep inside. Then I would
have sewn it up right to keep him safe.'
are many mothers in Israel – Jewish and Arab – who no doubt feel the
Thomas is a writer on intelligence for a number of leading European
newspapers (the Sunday Express, UK; El Mundo, Spain; Welt am Sonntag,
Germany). His work is also syndicated internationally by World Wide
Syndication. Any use of the above must carry a clear attribution to both
Gordon Thomas and Globe-Intel. He is a Contributing Editor to
Globe-Intel, an international newsletter devoted to intelligence
invite others to subscribe to Globe-Intel, have them click here: