Counter-Terrorism: A Tunnel To Hell

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June 7,2008: As Iranian money has poured into Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in Gaza, much of it is being used to buy weapons. But Gaza is supposed to be cut off from the outside world (because of Hamas vowing to destroy Israel). The solution to that is the smugglers, who primarily move goods, and people, in and out of Gaza via tunnels, will move anything for the right price, and right now, weapons are hot items. Nearly all the smuggling is along the border with Egypt, although the Egyptians are particularly eager to keep weapons out of Gaza. That's because anti-Egyptian Islamic terrorists are believed to have taken refuge in Gaza. These groups have made several attacks in Egypt over the past few years. Egypt has let it be known that smugglers of weapons will have a harder time of it if caught. Rewards have been increased, for tips about weapons being moved towards Gaza, or for use by terrorists inside Egypt. It is feared that Egyptian officials who control weapons, either at state factories, storage depots or even military units, will be tempted, by the high prices, to sell weapons to the smugglers. This is a more attractive deal than selling to Islamic terrorists. The smugglers insist that any weapons going into Gaza are not coming out, but will be used against Israel.

That may appeal to greedy government officials and soldiers, but police recently discovered a cache of weapons, apparently owned by smugglers, that contained 30 shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles. Several of these have shown up in Gaza (and been used against Israeli helicopters), but the Egyptians are also afraid that Islamic terrorists would use such missiles against airliners moving tourists in and out of the country. Islamic terrorists have, for decades, been trying to destroy the lucrative tourist industry, in order to create economic and political chaos that would enable an Islamic takeover. Most Egyptians don't care about attacks on Israel, but do care about the millions of jobs created by the tourism.

 


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