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Thursday, 16 November 2006

Palestinian 'Angels of Death' Network is Exposed

The Israeli Security Agency recently exposed a network of women who filled key Palestinian Islamic Jihad posts in Judea. Some of them participated in its terrorist logistic and financial support systems.

They received funds from PIJ headquarters in Syria for terrorist-operatives in the Judea, Jerusalem and Ramallah areas. 1

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1. In recent years women have been entrusted with key positions in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. While most of them deal with its organizational aspects, i.e., helping out with logistics in the West Bank and running "charitable societies" as a cover for PIJ activities, some of them have also been involved in supporting and funding its terrorist activities.

2. During August and September 2006 a number of senior female PIJ activists were detained in Judea by the Israeli Security Agency and IDF forces. Also detained were female activists who served as intermediaries for funds from PIJ headquarters in Syria . Some of the money from Syria was transferred to terrorist-operatives and used to fund terrorist activity in Judea, Jerusalem and Ramallah.

3. Khidhr Habib, a senior PIJ official, denied that the ISA had uncovered a cell of women who transferred money from Damascus to the West Bank . He said that all those detained were sisters or wives of shaheeds and PIJ detainees, and that they were charity workers, active in the societies established by the organization to aid the local population ( Ma'an News Agency , November 7, 2006).

4. Exposing the transfer of funds from Syria to terrorist-operatives in the field again illustrates the importance of financial leverage, which is one of the main tools used by PIJ headquarters in Syria to support terrorist attacks in the Palestinian Authority . It also illustrates the use the organization makes of the institutions belonging to the civilian infrastructure ( da'wah ) to support the terrorist-operative system.

Exposure of the PIJ's terrorism-funding
system in the Ramallah district

5. During August 2006 the ISA exposed two PIJ groups in the villages of 'Eiyn and Ni'ma, to the north and west of Ramallah, respectively. The 'Eiyn group carried out three shooting attacks; the Ni'ma group laid charges near the village and set up an explosives laboratory.

6. The ISA's investigation showed that Wadha 'Abd al-Hamid Mahmoud Fuqha Ghawanmeh , 34 and a resident of the Jalazoun refugee camp north of Ramallah, was an active accomplice in funding the terrorist groups' activities . She was a member of PIJ headquarters in Ramallah and head of the organization's office there. Her husband, Yussuf al-Fuqha is a senior PIJ operative in Ramallah and detained in Israel .

Right: Terrorist group funder:Wadha Ghawanmeh

7. Wadha Ghawanmeh was detained on August 3, 2006. During interrogation she stated that she had received funds from PIJ headquarters in Syria . She transferred some of it to be used to finance terrorist-operative squads by means of PIJ female activists who served as couriers .

Two of the couriers were Hibah Hamidat and Filastin Sabah , both residents of the Jalazoun refugee camp, who worked in the Ramallah office of Mu'assasat Mishkat al-Asir ("Prisoners' Light Institute"), an institution which deals with the affairs of PIJ terrorist-operatives imprisoned in Israel. The two were detained, and during interrogation admitted to having served as couriers.

Above Right: The couriers Hibah Hamidat[above]
and Filastin Sabah[below]

8. In addition to the two couriers, Wadha Ghawanmeh was assisted by other female PIJ activists (one of them her own sister) from the Ramallah area, who served as intermediaries for funds sent from PIJ headquarters in Syria . They were 'Iffat Khalifah , 21, from the village of Ni'ma , and Zakiyyah Ghawanmeh , 41, a resident of the Jalazoun refugee camp. During interrogation the two stated that the money they received was also used to finance terrorist attacks carried out by PIJ squads. They also stated that they had received a fee of $100 for every transfer of funds conducted in their names.

Right: The Internediaries: Zakiyyah Ghawanmeh
and 'Iffat Khalifah[below]

Prisoners' Light activists in Hebron and Ramallah detained

9. During recent months a number of female PIJ activists who worked in the Hebron and Ramallah Prisoners' Light offices were detained. They dealt with the transfer of funds from PIJ headquarters in Syria to the Palestinian Authority. The funds were used to help the organization's prisoners and the families of suicide bombers, and were also transferred to terrorist-operatives . The activists arrested served as couriers and intermediaries for funds sent from Syria .

10. Among those detained were:

A. Rania Abu Khudeir , 26, a resident of the town of Surif (north of Hebron ), who headed Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyyah, the PIJ student organization at Hebron University .

B. Hibah Hamidat , 21, a resident of the Jalazoun refugee camp and a PIJ activist working for Prisoners' Light in Ramallah. She transferred funds to terrorist-operatives .

C. Filastin Khamis Sabah , 21, a resident of the Jalazoun refugee camp and a PIJ activist working for Prisoners' Light in Ramallah. She transferred funds to terrorist-operatives .

The PIJ civilian infrastructure (da'wah) institutions
at which the terrorists were detained

Prisoners' Light Institute (Mu'assasat Mishkat al-Asir)

11. Prisoners' Light ( Mishkat al-Asir ) belongs to the PIJ. Its stated objective is to provide help and support for the organization's prisoners and detainees imprisoned in Israel and even in the PA. The support includes legal aid for the organization's imprisoned members, food packages and help for their families.

12. The institution has branches throughout the PA, including Tulkarm, Jenin and Dura. During searches conducted at the time in the offices in Tulkarm a large quantity of incitement propaganda was found, including material encouraging the continuation of suicide bombing attacks and jihad against Israel and the Jews. 2 As noted above, during interrogation, the female detainees admitted that they had transferred funds from Syria to finance terrorist-operative activities.

Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyyah

13. Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyyah, whose Hebron University branch was headed by Rania Abu Khadir, is the PIJ's student organization.

14. It is an important component in the organization's terrorism-supporting civilian infrastructure . The PIJ student organization, like that of Hamas, deals with incitement to terrorism and with the dissemination of radical Islamic ideologies in the PA's universities . Its membership is important for locating and enlisting terrorists into the organization's ranks and dispatching them on terrorist attacks.

15. Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyyah's Website describes its ideology in detail: “ Israel is an oppressive, illegal entity ... According to [Islamic] law its existence cannot be recognized and it cannot be allowed to live in security within the Palestinian homeland… Jihad for the sake of Allah is a legal right [and can be used] to repel the invaders and settlers from Islamic and Muslim lands.

PIJ posers decorate the stage for an Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyyah event. The inscription at the top reads, "The Palestinian Islamic Jihad." At the left, Islamic slogans on the background of a map of Palestine , the Qur'an, the Dome of the Rock and an assault rifle. In the center, Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyyah's emblem. At the right (and lower left), a picture of the organization's founder, Fathi Shqaqi (killed in Malta in 1995).

1. According to an Israeli Security Agency report

2. For further information see ITICCSS infoInformation Bulletin of December 2005 entitled "The distribution of virulent anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic hate propaganda continues in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, although incitement in the official media has abated under Abu Mazen," at Incitement [web] or Incitement [Pdf] .


ITIC at C.S.S [Nov 9 2006]

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