Mourning the Loss of Four Great Scholars of Jewish Ideas – Mosaic

Posted By on November 17, 2020

Over the weekend, the news broke that on August 7, Mohammad al-Masrithe al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiris number twowas gunned-down on the streets of Tehran alongside Osama bin Ladens daughter-in-law. According to multiple unnamed U.S. officials, he was assassinated by Israeli agents operating at Washingtons behest. Masri had organized the 1998 attack on the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which left a total of 224 people dead; in 2002 he orchestrated a botched attack on Israeli targets in Mombasa, Kenya, that left thirteen dead. Yoav Limor seeks to explain both the reasons for the strike on Masri, and for the decision to leak the details:

Israels declared policy is that assassinations are only a means for preventing future attacks, not exacting vengeance. Although Israeli officials have claimed Masri was busy planning attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets across the globe, it isnt very likely considering the fact that al-Qaedawhich for years now has struggled to carry out high-profile attacksis focusing its efforts on fighting the Americans and moderate Sunni regimes in the region, not Israel.

Its more reasonable to assume that Israel lent a hand to its most important ally, despite concerns that doing so would make it a target of al-Qaeda. There is clear operational value in this, but also considerable deterrence value. Toward al-Qaeda, obviously, but mainly toward Iran, which understands it is again penetrated and is in the crosshairs of the Israelis and Americans. This message should not be underestimated: Iran is mulling its nuclear options.

Masris presence in Tehran also gives the lie to the Obama administrations claim that Shiite Iran could be a useful ally in the fight against Sunni extremist groups like al-Qaeda. Of course, such a demonstration is hardly necessary, seeing as Osama bin Laden noted in correspondence with his lieutenants that his organizations core facilitation pipeline ran through the Islamic Republic. Limor remarks:

Iran, which is fighting al-Qaida in Iraq and Syria, is hosting one of the organizations most senior figures because he serves its interest by fighting the Americans in Afghanistan. It will continue doing this as long as it serves its objectives.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Al Qaeda, Iran, Israeli Security, U.S. Security, US-Israel relations

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Mourning the Loss of Four Great Scholars of Jewish Ideas - Mosaic

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