Saudi Arabia’s New King and His History of Supporting Jihad

The newly-crowned King Salman is being heralded in the press as a reformer and a moderate. What about his numerous ties to extremist groups, including al-Qaeda? David A. Weinberg writes:

Salman was the regime’s lead fundraiser for mujahideen, or Islamic holy warriors, in Afghanistan in the 1980s, as well as for Bosnian Muslims during the Balkan struggles of the 1990s. In essence, he served as Saudi Arabia’s financial point man for bolstering fundamentalist proxies in war zones abroad. . . .

Salman was appointed by his full brother and close political ally King Fahd to direct the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SHC) upon its founding in 1992. . . . By 2001, the organization had collected around $600 million. . . .

And what kind of supervision did Salman exercise over this . . . commission? In 2001, NATO forces raided the SHC’s Sarajevo offices, discovering a treasure trove of terrorist materials: before-and-after photographs of al-Qaeda attacks, instructions on how to fake U.S. State Department badges, and maps marked to highlight government buildings across Washington.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Jihad, Politics & Current Affairs, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism

 

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security