|Fatah gunmen in Jenin Photo: AP|
US accused of training Palestinian terrorists
Book charges American aid to Fatah 'key to intifada's success'
The US has been arming, training, funding and coordinating security with known terrorists, including much of the senior leadership of the most active West Bank Palestinian terrorist organization, charges a new book.
In "Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans - to a Jew!," author and WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein also documents how terrorists, including a terror chief, are among the official team that receives and distributes American weapons shipped to the Palestinians.
"It's scandalous," writes Klein in the book. "In the midst of America's war on terror, the US is perpetuating terrorism to the point where the most active Palestinian jihad group is carrying out regular attacks, including shootings and bombings, using American-provided weapons, funding and training."
The US since the late 1990's has been running bases in the West Bank City of Jericho to train militias from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization, including the Preventative Security Services, which serve as police officers, and Force 17, Abbas' presidential guard units which previously protected Yasser Arafat. Force 17 serve as de facto police and security officers, as well.
The US also has over the years provided Fatah militias with arms, reportedly including thousands of high-powered assault rifles during the past year alone.
This past August, the State Department announced the US will begin new training courses for Force 17 in an effort to bolster Abbas against Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip in June when the terror group easily defeated American-backed Fatah forces in the territory.
The US training programs include courses in the use of weapons. They are being partially funded with a $86.5 million grant approved by Congress in April.
In "Schmoozing," Klein documents how many members of Force 17 and the Preventative Security Services openly serve in Fatah's declared "military wing," the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which took credit along with the Islamic Jihad terror group for every suicide bombing in Israel between 2005 and 2006.
The Brigades is responsible for more terrorism from the West Bank than any other Palestinian Arab organization, carrying out thousands of shootings and grenade attacks.
Members of Abbas' US-trained Force 17 yesterday were accused by Israel of plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during an August visit to Palestinian-controlled Jericho. PA officials have denied the charge.
"It took no investigative reporting whatsoever on my part to discover members of US-backed, trained, and armed Fatah militias are also members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group," writes Klein. "I simply went around the West Bank and asked Fatah militia members, who walk around with American-provided high-power assault rifles, whether they are also in the Brigades."
Among dozens of militants interviewed, Klein caught up with Abu Yousuf, a Force 17 officer who received American training in Jericho in 1999 as a member of the Preventative Security Services.
Yousuf is a chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Ramallah, where he is accused of participating in anti-Israel terrorism, including recent shootings, attacks against Israeli forces operating in the city, and a shooting attack in northern Samaria in December 2000 that killed the leader of the ultranationalist Kahane Chai organization, Benyamin Kahane.
After the Kahane murder, Yousuf was extended refuge by Arafat to live in the late PLO leader's Ramallah compound, widely known as the Muqata.
Yousuf still lives in the compound, where US weapons are regularly delivered to Fatah; he is a ranking member of the Palestinian team that receives the American weapons.
Yousuf, along with other Brigades leaders, was granted amnesty by Olmert this past June as a gesture to Abbas, but many Brigades members, including Yousuf's cell, is accused of violating the agreement by failing to disarm and by carrying out a spate of terror attacks.
Speaking to Klein through a translator, Yousuf said his American trainings were instrumental in attacks on Israelis.
"All the methods and techniques that we studied in these trainings, we applied them against the Israelis," he said.
"We sniped at Israeli settlers and soldiers. We broke into settlements and Israeli army bases and posts. We collected information on the movements of soldiers and settlers. We collected information about the best timing to infiltrate our bombers inside Israel. We used weapons and we produced explosives, and of course the trainings we received from the Americans and the Europeans were a great help to the resistance."
Yousuf said the training included both intelligence and military tactics.
"In the intelligence part, we learned collection of information regarding suspected persons, how to follow suspected guys, how to infiltrate organizations and penetrate cells of groups that we were working on and how to prevent attacks and to steal in places," he said.
"On the military level, we received trainings on the use of weapons, all kind of weapons and explosives. We received sniping trainings, work of special units especially as part as what they call the fight against terror. We learned how to put siege, how to break into places where our enemies closed themselves in, how to oppress protest movements, demonstrations, and other activities of opposition."
Continued Yousuf: "I do not think that the operations of the Palestinian resistance would have been so successful and would have killed more than 1,000 Israelis since 2000 and defeated the Israelis in Gaza without these (American) trainings,"
Yousuf seemed to anticipate criticism for speaking publicly about the training. He's not "talking about US training in order to irritate the Americans or the Israelis and not in order to create provocations," he said. "I'm just telling you the truth."
Reprinted by permission of WorldNetDaily
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