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Al-Qaeda now frontline threat to Israel

With gains in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, al-Qaeda and its affiliates threaten Israel more than ever.
Israeli soldiers ride an army jeep during a patrol along Israel's border with Lebanon near the northern village of Avivim July 3, 2013. Israel is bolstering its forces on the once-quiet frontier with Syria where it believes Lebanese Hezbollah militants are preparing for the day when they could fight Israel. Picture taken July 3, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (ISRAEL - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS) - RTX11IMI

Al-Qaeda’s affiliates and al-Qaedism the idea are gradually, inexorably, surrounding Israel. Safe havens and bases are sprouting up north and south of Israel like never before in the history of the global jihad, fulfilling the dreams of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri. Israel remains a very hard target for terrorists and is fully capable of defending itself, but the challenges facing Israeli counter terrorists are becoming more difficult.

Israel has always been at the core of al-Qaeda’s narrative and ideology. From the beginning of bin Laden’s jihadist war on the ”Crusader-Zionist” enemy, Israel was a key target. The “liberation” of the holy mosques of Jerusalem actually came before the “liberation” of the holy mosques of Mecca and Medina in his writings. When he endorsed the attempt to blow up an American jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009, he said attacks like it would continue as long as America supported Israel. But until recently al-Qaeda and its affiliates found it hard to get to the promised land and attack Israel. Israeli and/or Jewish targets in Kenya or Tunisia or elsewhere were attacked, but Israel itself was too hard to get to.

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