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Al Qaeda in Iraq Claims Rocket Attack Against Israel

Posted: January 17, 2006

The terrorist group Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for a rocket attack in northern Israel last month in an audio statement attributed to the group’s leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.  No one was injured in the December 27 strike.


There is no confirmation that the voice heard in the recording is indeed Zarqawi’s, but the audio statement was posted on several Web sites used previously for similar claims of responsibility by Al Qaeda in Iraq.  Israeli Military officials said they hold the Lebanese government responsible “for any activity that happens in its territory.” 


In the audio statement, released on militant Islamic Web sites on January 9, Zarqawi says that his group fired rockets from Lebanon “at the grandchildren of monkeys and pigs” in the Israeli town of Kiryat Shimona and that the attack was “only the start of a blessed in-depth strike against the Zionist enemy.”


In the recoding, Zarqawi also says that the attack was carried out “on the instructions of the sheikh of the mujahedeen, Osama bin Laden, may God protect him.”  Zarqawi publicly allied himself with Osama Bin Laden in October 2004.


Al Qaeda in Iraq also claimed responsibility for the attack, which caused minor damage, a few days after the strike in a separate statement posted on an Islamic Web forum.


Al Qaeda in Iraq previously said it was targeting “Jews and Crusaders” when it carried out suicide bombings at three hotels in Amman.  The group also threatened further action against Israel at that time.  Zarqawi’s group previously claimed responsibility for firing rockets against Israeli and U.S. targets from the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba in August 2005.


Other attacks against distinctly Jewish targets by Al Qaeda include an attack on a Jewish synagogue in Tunisia on April 2002; the coordinated bombing of an Israeli-owned resort and an attempt to down an Israeli airliner in Mombassa, Kenya in November 2002; an attack on several Jewish-associated targets in Casablanca, Morocco in April 2003; the bombing of two Jewish Synagogues in Istanbul in November 2003; and an attack on several tourist resorts in Sinai, Egypt that are popular with Israelis in October 2004.

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