DUBAI, Nov 18 (Reuters) - An al Qaeda-linked group issued a
Hebrew threat on Thursday to avenge Israel's killing of two Gaza
militants, in what an expert said was the first use of the
language for such propaganda.
In the half-minute-long recording posted on a website used
by declared al Qaeda affiliates, a hoarse male voice tells the
"aggressor Jews" they will not be safe from rockets and other
attacks until they "leave the land of Palestine".
The speaker identifies himself as a member of the group
Jemaa Ansar al-Sunna or "Community of Sunna Supporters", which
has a presence in Gaza.
Mohammed Nimnim and Islam Yassin, killed in Israeli air
strikes on Nov. 3 and Nov. 17, were Gazan leaders of the Army of
Islam, a Palestinian Islamist group inspired by al Qaeda. Israel
accused them of having planned to attack Israelis in the
Matti Steinberg, an Israeli intelligence veteran who
specialises in Islamism, said it was unprecedented for Hebrew to
be used on an al Qaeda forum.
While Osama bin Laden's followers have made public appeals
in languages other than Arabic, this was usually to "win over,
educate and preach to the wider Muslim world", Steinberg said:
"Here, by contrast, it seems the idea to make Jews feel that
the threat is close at hand -- and not some distant menace."
The recording, which was quoted on Israel's Army Radio, ends
by invoking "al Quds", Arabic for Jerusalem. The speaker's
reference to rockets suggests links with Palestinians in Gaza,
where this has been a favourite mode of attack against Israel.
Steinberg said Jemaa Ansar al-Sunna has had a presence in
Gaza for several years and was independent of the Army of Islam.
(Writing by Mahmoud Habboush and Dan Williams, Editing by
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