The FBI’s Gratuitous and Futile Investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death

Over six months ago, the Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was hit by a bullet and killed while covering a shoot-out between the IDF and a group of Palestinian guerrillas. On the grounds that Abu Akleh was an American as well as a Palestinian citizen, the State Department insisted on conducting its own investigation. It concluded that Abu Akleh was “likely” killed by a stray bullet from an Israeli soldier’s gun, although it admittedly could not say so with certainty. The IDF’s own investigation reached a similar conclusion. Yet this is not enough for the U.S. Department of Justice, which recently announced that it will look in the matter itself. Lahav Harkov comments:

Ahlam Ahmad al-Tamimi’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” poster, which can be viewed on the FBI website, describes her as “charged with participating in an August 9, 2001 suicide-bomb attack at a pizza restaurant in Jerusalem that killed fifteen people, including two United States nationals. Four other United States nationals were among approximately 122 others injured in the attack,” the site reads. “Should be considered armed and dangerous.”

The FBI poster asks for tips and offers a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Tamimi’s arrest. Here’s a tip: she’s in Jordan, hosting a talk show on Hamas TV, . . . but Jordan refuses to extradite her.

It’s not clear what the FBI will accomplish in its investigation, considering that the agency does not appear to have access to new evidence, nor will it be able to question Israeli soldiers. . . . Yet it’s insisting on going forward with its own probe.

In other words, this apparently accidental, but still tragic, death of a U.S. citizen seems to warrant special attention that an intentional terrorist bombing with several American victims does not.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: IDF, Palestinian terror, U.S.-Israel relationship


Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security