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News ::
First Al Qaeda-Fatah Operation Misses Target: German Diplomat (english)
26 Dec 2002
German diplomat and member of European Union Commission Christian Waldrahs was saved by his bulletproof jeep from an assassin’s bullets, fired as he came out of Jenin Fatah commander Mussa Kadura’s home on Saturday, December 21.
First Al Qaeda-Fatah Operation Misses Target: German Diplomat

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report



German diplomat and member of European Union Commission Christian Waldrahs was saved by his bulletproof jeep from an assassin’s bullets, fired as he came out of Jenin Fatah commander Mussa Kadura’s home on Saturday, December 21.

DEBKAfile’s military and counter-terror sources report that Waldrahs has the unhappy distinction of being the first target of an al Qaeda assassination plot executed by a Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades operative against a Western diplomat on Palestinian territory.

The masked gunman waited for his prey outside Kadura’s home. He starting shooting his Kalashnikov assault rifle at close range – but not fast enough. The German diplomat was able to drive off at top speed, heading for the nearest Israeli military roadblock to ask for help.

As one high-placed Israeli security source put it: “We now have living, incontrovertible proof of operational collaboration between al Qaeda and Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades”. To cover up the giveaway episode, Fatah spokesmen in Jenin hurriedly claimed Saturday night that their operative had admittedly opened fire, but had mistaken the diplomat for an Israeli undercover agent. This is an unlikely tale, say our sources; Waldhrahs resides in Jenin and is a well-known figure in the Palestinian town.

DEBKAfile’s sources tell a different story.

At a time when Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon confirmed that a few al Qaeda operatives had reached Palestinian areas – most entering the Gaza Strip, al Qaeda and its Lebanese hosts, the Shiite Hizballah, were in the process of building up a presence and intensifying their activities in the Palestinian West Bank.

Furthermore, starting in November, al Qaeda units in the south Lebanese Palestinian refugee camp of Ein Hilwa, began funneling funds to the Jenin branch of the al Aqsa Brigades. It was carried over by Mounir Maqdah, commander of an Ein Hilwa Palestinian militia.

Since then, al Qaeda has been badgering Fatah “Martyrs” to start giving value for the money sent them, i,e, to stage terrorist attacks not only against Israelis but also against the Westerners active in Palestinian areas, many of them on humanitarian missions.

For Waldrahs, who is on a mission for the European Union, this turn of events was as disturbing as it was for Israel. He is in Jenin to manage Europe’s contribution for the reconstruction of the parts of Jenin destroyed in the IDF’s large-scale counter-terror operation last April. He suddenly discovered that the Palestinians he was aiding, while receiving funds from Europe, were also taking money, as well as operational directives, from the notorious Islamic fundamentalist terror organization.

Determined to check out his discovery, the German diplomat called Saturday afternoon on the Jenin Fatah secretary. No one outside Kadura’s immediate circle knew he was coming or the object of his visit. Only the tightest coordination between that circle and al Qaeda would have made it possible for the assassination plot to have been set up at such speed.

DEBKAfile was the only publication to report the participation of al Qaeda and Hizballah fighters in the major battle that took place in Jenin last April. Since then, we have consistently maintained that Osama bin Laden’s organization is present in territory controlled by Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority. Official sources have slowly confirmed this. Now, those same DEBKAfile sources find the al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in league with al Qaeda. The two have joined forces to drive Israelis out of Palestinian areas but, most of all, to strike at Westerners and Western interests.
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