Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs senior researcher Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi provides a careful analysis of the apparent coming of “The Army of the Nation” — an al Qaeda affiliate — to the Gaza Strip. The Army of the Nation apparently adds a second al Qaeda affiliate in Gaza to the previously identified Army of Islam. Halevi’s analysis describes a video:
In the video clip at least twenty-one operatives can be identified, dressed in black with their faces covered. They are exercising in sandy Gaza terrain, apparently in the area of the Israeli settlements that were withdrawn in August 2005 in the context of the Gaza disengagement.
The maneuvers included marching in formation, crawling under barbed wire, jumping through flames, sniper fire, and use of rocket-propelled grenades (RPG). The area where this transpired appeared to be a regular training facility and the performance of the al-Qaeda recruits was high. The exercises were conducted in broad daylight and it does not seem that there was any effort to hide these activities from Hamas. The leader of the group, whose face was covered, wore civilian clothing and a hat resembling the head covering of the late leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which has become a symbol in Gaza for identifying with al-Qaeda.
Breitbart TV has posted the video clip here. Dore Gold sends along a PDF with the group’s symbol: an M-16 assualt rifle with sniper scope used as a flagpole for a black flag that says in Arabic, “There is no other god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Below this are Arabic letters in green saying “Jaish al-Umma” (the Army of the Nation).
Is anyone paying attention?