JERUSALEM - Hamas has several cells inside the United Kingdom and is capable of attacking the country, a senior Israeli security official told World Net Daily.
The official spoke in response to a sermon, broadcast live on Palestinian television earlier this month, in which a cleric associated with Hamas threatened terror attacks against Britain.
Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras, a popular Palestinian Islamic leader, said in a live sermon broadcast May 13: "We take this opportunity to hold Britain accountable and say there is revenge we can never forget. We cannot forgo the revenge we want to exact from Britain. We hold Britain responsible for what happened in Palestine. Britain is the cause, 'til this very minute, of every drop of blood dripping into this land."
Mudeiras, who was lamenting Israeli Independence Day celebrations, continued: "I say to you: You must look at our situation with an outlook
Palestinian television regularly broadcasts hour-long speeches by Mudeiras, who usually laces his sermons with anti-Israel and anti-American invectives. But the speech, lashing out against Britain and threatening attacks against the country, was unusual, say media monitors.
Britain occupied Palestine until Israel was created in 1948, and was largely responsible for the League of Nations Mandate, which called for the establishment of a "Jewish national home" in what eventually became the Jewish State.
Hamas agents in U.K.
A senior Israeli security official told WND Hamas is in a position to attack Britain.
"Hamas has many agents in Britain, some of them not hidden. They are well-established there, and could carry out sophisticated and well-coordinated terror attacks if they wanted to," said the official.
There has been growing evidence the past few years of Hamas' infiltration of the U.K.
Britain's "Sunday Times" reported in February Mohammed Kassem Sawalha, a Muslim leader appointed to help to run a major mosque in north London, is a former Hamas military commander. Sawalha, who arrived in Britain 15 years ago, told the "Times" he still supported Hamas.
Mohammed Hanif and Omar Sharif, the two suicide bombers who blew up Mike's Place pub in Tel Aviv in 2003, were British citizens recruited to Hamas while living in the U.K., according to Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon. The two bombers were associated with Al-Muhajiroun, a British-based Islamic extremist organization that has a large following and has publicly raised funds for Hamas.
Muhajiroun spiritual leader Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad previously told WorldNetDaily he supports Hamas and has called on the British Muslim community to join the terror group.
"We must support Hamas. ... We should maintain cooperation among nations so that we can all liberate ourselves together," Bakri told a group of British Muslims at a meeting attended by WorldNetDaily.
But security sources say Hamas is currently reluctant to attack Britain.
"A large portion of Hamas funding comes from charities in the U.K. Attacking Britain would lead to an immediate clamp down on a major part of their funding," one source said.
WND reported Interpal, a major Islamic charity raising millions of dollars in Britain "to provide humanitarian aid to peoples of the Middle East" is a Hamas front that channels funds from British Muslims to support Hamas terrorism, according to the Center for Special Studies.
Interpal was declared an illegal, terror-supporting organization in Israel because of its alleged links to Hamas and was outlawed in the United States in August 2003 after being designated by a U.S. executive order "an entity that commits, threatens to commit or supports terrorism."
The charity currently operates unimpeded in the U.K.
Documents - including bank transfer information - discovered and recently declassified from Israel's 2002 Operation Defensive Shield in the Palestinian territories show Interpal funneled millions of dollars to Hamas charities in the West Bank, and has on its board several senior Hamas members.
"Several Muslim leaders also run private funds for Hamas," said an Israeli security official. "The U.K is considered very fertile soil for Hamas finances and they don't want to destroy that. Also, Hamas would come under massive international pressure if it attacked outside Israel."
Still, the official warned, "Hamas has created for itself quite a global network, with well-placed cells in Britain. A shift if Hamas priorities could result in attacks outside Israel, including in the U.K."
Reprinted courtesy of World Net Daily