The Islamic State vs. the Jewish State: How the Caliphate Views Israel

The past few weeks have witnessed a new wave of Palestinian terrorism in Israeli cities. Surprisingly, this string of violence was touched off by two attacks linked to the Islamic State. In the first attack, on March 22, four Israelis were killed and two injured when an Arab Israeli, Muhammad Abu al-Qay‘an, carried out a stabbing and ramming in the southern Israeli town of Beersheeba. The attacker had previously served a prison sentence for promoting and planning to join the Islamic State in Syria. In the second attack, on March 27, two Israeli police officers were killed and five other people injured when two Arab-Israeli gunmen, cousins Ayman Ighbariyya and Khaled Ighbariyya, opened fire in the northern Israeli city of Hadera. Early the next day, on March 28, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Hadera attack. Its A‘maq news agency released a separate report that included an image of

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Abbottabad Insights: How al-Qa‘ida in Iraq Was Formed (Part 1)

*Editor’s note: The “Abbottabad Insights” series aims at analyzing the files recovered from Usama bin Ladin’s compound in 2011 which have remained largely understudied to date, aside from the first batches released between May 2012 and January 2017. The first two articles of this series will deal with the inside story of the founding of al-Qa‘ida in Iraq, providing unique insights into the negotiation process between al-Qa‘ida Central and Abu Mus‘ab al-Zarqawi in 2004. A third piece will tackle the relationship between Bin Ladin’s group and al-Zarqawi’s during the last months of the Jordanian’s career. Other articles covering a wide range of issues, from al-Qa‘ida’s external operations to its ties with other militant groups, will follow. On October 17, 2004, al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad, the precursor organization to the Islamic State, issued a statement announcing with much fanfare that its leader Abu Mus‘ab al-Zarqawi had pledged “allegiance” (bay‘a) on behalf of his group “to the mujahid

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