September 27, 2004


Hamas: Arab state may have helped Israel with assassination (Amos Harel, Yoav Stern, and Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondents, and news agencies, 9/27/04, Ha'aretz)

Hamas said on Monday an Arab country might have helped Israel assassinate one of its leaders in Damascus, an act it called "treason."
Senior Hamas official Iz a Din al-Sheikh Khalil was killed by a car bomb in the Syrian capital on Sunday.

"We were not convinced initially, this would be treason for an Arab security apparatus to be involved in this," Hamas Lebanon head Osama Hamdan said of a report in the Al-Hayat daily.

The Arabic daily said an Arab country had given the Israeli spy agency Mossad information about the movements and habits of Hamas leaders abroad. [...]

Syria's response to the assassination was one of weakness and confusion. The government's official news agency released a short statement from an interior ministry source saying Khalil "did not carry out any activities on Syrian soil," and that various authorities were investigating the incident.

"He is one of the Palestinian citizens who was expelled by the occupation authorities to Lebanon, and he was not allowed to return to the Palestinian territories," the statement said. No details as to how the operation was carried out or who is suspected to be behind it were given.

"Our response will be civilized and sensible," said Ahmed al-Haj Ali, an aide to Syria's information minister. "It needs to be made clear that Damascus is not open to these criminals. "

If al Qaeda's aim was to provoke weakness, confusion, and charges of treason in the Arab world then you could say they're winning--or they would be if there were any of them left alive and out of jail.

Alleged Top al-Qaida Man in Lebanon Dies (AP, 9/27/04)

The alleged top al-Qaida operative in Lebanon, who was captured in a security operation that broke up a terrorist network, died of a heart attack Monday, hospital and security officials said.

Ismail Mohammed al-Khatib was taken from his prison cell to the Bahanes Hospital, 18 miles outside Beirut, after suffering a heart attack, but doctors were unable to save his life, hospital officials said.

Lebanese security officials confirmed al-Khatib's death of a heart attack.

Al-Khatib was one of two top operatives of al-Qaida organization captured by Lebanese authorities Sept. 17 along with 10 other suspects. The other one was Ahmed Salim Mikati.

Mr. Mikati is probably looking a little peaked too.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 27, 2004 3:27 PM

Um, I don't think that the "criminals" to whom Mr. Ali refers are Hamas, but rather members of the "Zionist entity"...

Posted by: brian at September 27, 2004 4:12 PM

Hopefully Mr. Mikati is getting all the proper attention.

Posted by: jsmith at September 27, 2004 8:38 PM

Shouldn't that be "peeked"?

But no matter, shock him again!

Posted by: ratbert at September 27, 2004 9:30 PM

Hmm. Rather convenient, dying like that before beans could be spilled. An injection of air into a large vein could provide all the heart attack you need.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but the Arab world seems to be a conspiracy in search of a theory.

Posted by: Mikey at September 28, 2004 12:48 PM