Besides those, participation of Mugnie in planning of explosions
in the American army barracks in Saudi Arabia and in American
embassies in Africa in 1998 is quite probable. His indirect
participation in planning of 11 September terrorist attacks
is also possible.
The first contacts between Mugnie and Bin-Laden took place
about 7 years ago. One of the al-Qaeda activists, Ali Mohammad,
a confidant of Bin-Laden, said at the court that he had organized
the meeting between Bin-Laden and Imad Mugnie in 1993 in Sudan.
Ali Mohammad was later sentenced to life in prison by the US
court for participation in planning of two explosions in American
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Osama Bin-Laden was greatly inspired by the victory of Mugnie
over America in Lebanon - only 4 months after the explosion
in the naval infantry dormitories American forces had completely
left Lebanon. The "revenge" of America consisted in
shooting on the hills near Beirut from the battleship "New
Jersey". Of course, not a single terrorist of the "Hizballa"
In June 1996 the Iranian ministry of information and security
conducted a conference of several terrorist leaders in Teheran,
in which Mugnie and Egyptian Aiman al-Zawahari (Bin-Laden's
deputy ) took part. During the following years, many of al-Qaeda
commanders, including Abu-Zubeida and Muhammad Atef, also met
Mugnie in different countries of the Middle East and Africa.
The tight ties of Mugnie with the Palestinian terrorists (especially
with the Fatah), the Hizballa and the al-Qaeda, enabled him
to become a link between all those organizations, kind of a
coordinator of the international terrorism.
Usbat-al-Ansar, the wahhabites from Lebanon
Ahmed al Saadi, or "Abu Mojen", a photo from al-Nahar.
The Usbat-al-Ansar - the League of Partisans - group is based
in the largest refugees-camp in Lebanon - Ain-al-Hilwe. The
League was founded in 1968 by Hissam Shreidi, a wahhabite and
an ardent supporter of Jihad against the infidels, especially
Israel and Lebanonian Christians. But Shreidi was more preoccupied
with squabbles with other groups and
didn't succeed very well in his Jihad. In 1991 he was killed
as a result of a feud with Amin Kaid, one of the Fatah commanders
His successor was Ahmad al-Saadi, also known as Abu Mojen.
With his coming, the tactics of al-Ansar had changed. In the
middle of the 90-s Abu-Mojen already organized the transfer
of Palestinian terrorists from refugees camps in Lebanon to
Bin-Laden's camps for training.
At the end of the nineties, al-Ansar started to receive monetary
support from al-Qaeda, but strangely as it seems those resources
weren't used against the most obvious enemy close by - Israel.
Instead most of the resources, including trained terrorists,
were transferred to Chechnya. Now, after the defeat of Chechen
terrorists and the death of Hattab, Arab terrorists are returning
to Lebanon and other countries, with support of Iran and Hizballa.
But this is a topic for another article.
In January 2000, together with the Takfir-al-Hijra revolt,
al-Ansar tried to conduct several terrorist attacks against
government forces and the Russian embassy in Beirut. An Usbat-al-Ansar
terrorist fired a shot at the embassy from an RPG, killing a
guard and wounding a few people. After a week, a group of terrorists
tried to break into the embassy, but was prevented by Lebanese
Usbat-al-Ansar is tied with the Palestinian terrorist Munir
Maqda and the Takfir-al-Hijra group. All of them are sponsored
by the same source. After the 11 September attacks, Usbat-al-Ansar
was included by USA into a list of terrorist organizations,
which had no effect on their activity.
Takfir al-Hijra in Afghanistan, America and
Usbat-al-Ansar is tied with a terrorist group named Takfir-al-Hijra,
which means "extirpation of heresy". After an unsuccessful
revolt in Lebanon in January 2000 his group does not show any
special activity. Nevertheless in this article we will describe
it as an illustration of international terrorist groups actions.
The Takfir was founded by the Lebanese Bassam Ahmed Kanj. The
group consists mostly of former Afghani mojaheddin, who fought
against USSR under the aegis of doctor Abdalla Azzam (a Palestinian
from Jenin), the founder of al-Qaeda and a few similar organizations.
Once, Azzam was responsible for all Arab volunteers in Afghanistan:
their recruitment in different countries of the Middle East,
their transfer, with assistance of the CIA and Saudi Arabia,
to Pakistan, their training in Peshawar and so on.
Bin Laden, the recently killed Hattab and many other now infamous
terrorists were once under his command.
Most of Azzam's wards were Moslem fanatics. After the end of
the war in Afghanistan they joined different terrorist organizations
- some joined Bin-Laden's al-Qaeda, others joined the Egyptian
al-Jihad al-Islami, the rest went to Chechnya.
Kanj married an American woman and went to US. At the beginning
of the 90-s he worked as a taxi driver in Boston, which to everyone
seemed a completely harmless job.
In Boston he became acquainted with Raed Hijazi, that was later
convicted in Jordan for participation in a plot to conduct terrorist
attacks in December 1999. Two of his other colleagues - Ahmad
Gamdi and Satam Sukami - left Boston on morning of September
11-th 2001 on different planes, one of which crashed into the
south tower of WTC,
and the other - into the north tower.
Another person that Kanj met in America was Kassim Daher, an
ex-Afghani fighter, and one of the closest supporters of the
Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman. The Sheikh now serves his
lifetime sentence in America for organizing bombing of the underground
garage of the WTC in 1993. Daher, too, was arrested by the police
for participation in this terrorist act,
but was later released for lack of proof.
In 1996 Kanj returned to Lebanon, and, together with Daher,
founded Takfir-al-Hijra, which first consisted of Arab veterans
of the war in Afghanistan - Lebanonians, Syrians and Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Kanj started to receive money from al-Qaeda, which
he used for buying weaponand for preparation of a base in the
mountains at the north of Lebanon.
Meanwhile he contacted Abu-Mojen, and together they planned
several attacks on the government of Lebanon, in order to establish
the Shariat (Islamic law) in the country.
In Janury 2000 Kanj decided that he was prepared enough, and
together with Usbat-al-Ansar organized a revolt at the north
of Lebanon. But the government forces won.
Takfir-al-Hijra, is, actually, almost unknown at the West.
But this group is an excellent example of the cooperation between
terrorists of the al-Qaeda network. No doubt that there are
many such groups and organizations that are active today, but
there is a great lack of information about them. Actually, if
there is anything known about Takfir-al-Hijra it is because
many of its activists were stopped by Lebanonese forces.
Colonel Munir Maqda -
a link to Palestinians
Terrorists use the Internet too - Maqda reads the news in
his office in Ain-al-Hilwe refugees camp.
One of the Fatah commanders in Lebanon is the colonel Munir
Maqda, that is, like Abu-Mojen, based in the Ain-al-Hilwe refugees
camp. Maqda has been tied with al-Qaeda already for several
years - most probably, through Mugnie.
In 1999 Mugnie cooperated with al-Qaeda activists, who prepared
the "Millennium terrorist attack" in Jordan against
several hotels. Those hotels were populated mostly by Christian
pilgrims that had come to the Holy Land for Christmas. Maqda
brought the terrorists (among which was the abovementioned Raed
Hijazi) to his place, supplied them with weapons
and helped them to get into Jordan. However, Jordanian intelligence
uncovered the plot.
In 2000, based on testimonies of terrorists arrested in Jordan,
Munir Maqda was sentenced to death in absentia, "for ties
with al-Qaeda, training of al-Qaeda terrorists and sending them
to Jordan, a plot (again, together with al-Qaeda) to conduct
terrorist attacks on the kingdom territory". As a reaction
to the sentence, Munir gave an interview to the UPI agency,
and said: "If Bin-Laden tries to liberate the Holy City
of Jerusalem, I'll be flattered to coordinate my efforts with
With the beginning of Al-Aksa Intifada, Maqda started to fulfill
his promise and to assist the terrorists of the Palestinian
Authority, mainly by money which he used to receive from Bin-Laden
Field commanders of the Fatah in Samaria and Jenin, Naser Awis
and Jamal Ahwil, who were arrested by the Israeli army during
the "Defensive Shield" military operation, testified
that many terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens were organized
and financed by Munir Maqda.
Maqda coordinated with two large terrorist groups in Shkhem
(Nablus) and Jenin. In 2001 he applied personally to Awis with
an offer of assistance in the struggle against Israel. Awis
agreed, and soon 40 to 50 thousand dollars came from Lebanon
to his account, that had been opened especially for this purpose.
This money was intended for buying weapons, buying materials
for bombs preparation and wages for the terrorists.
Awis and Maqda discussed every terrorist attack by phone. Even
more, a few months before the arrest of Naser Awis, Maqda offered
to direct his activists for suicide terrorist attacks in Israel.
Jamal Ahwil also testified that he had received money from Maqda
that was intended for financing of "military actions"
The attack on Pi-Glilot fuel storage facility
Around 7:30 am at 23-rd of May, in Pi-Glilot ( the largest
gas and petroleum depot in Israel) a fuel truck exploded and
started to burn. Soon it was stated that a reason for the explosion
was a small bomb, located on the bottom of the truck and activated
by a signal from a cellular phone that was connected to it.
Luckily, the tank was filled with diesel fuel and not with gasoline,
otherwise the tank would've exploded, with high probability
of setting off the main fuel tanks in the depot.
There are 150 million tons of fuel in Pi-Glilot, mainly gasoline
and diesel, and two to three thousand tons of gas. In case of
exploding of the main depot a tremendous explosion would happen.
A cloud of gas and fumes would cover a part of Tel-Aviv. Such
cloud would be not only toxic, but also, theoretically, explosive.
Possible consequences of this cannot be overestimated. No doubt
that this would be the most severe terrorist attack in the history
Actually everything in this operation was totally different
from the methods and modus operandi of Palestinian terrorists.
Till now, Palestinians always tried to attack public objects
- buses, restaurants, discotheques, clubs, markets and so on.
All Palestinian terrorist attacks were directed against large
crowds of people, but not against guarded industrial objects
(especially such as Pi-Glilot).
The planning of Palestinian terrorist attacks usually consisted
mainly of the choice of a place most crowded with Israelis and
of the delivery of a suicide bomber. In the case of Pi-Glilot
the planning was conducted on the state intelligence service
level. It was much more complicated and took at least a few
First of all, the terrorists traced the route of the truck
loaded with fuel in the center of the country, and discovered
that the truck stayed unguarded near the driver's house in Holon.
They checked the procedure of checking of gasoline tankers in
detail, enough to locate the bomb where surely nobody would
find it. Even more, they knew the route of the truck already
inside the depot. The bomb, that was connected to the cellular
phone, exploded at the very moment when the truck was closest
to the fuel tanks. This means that the terrorist
that activated the bomb, observed the truck when it was passing
through the gate, and knew in which interval of time the truck
should blow up.
For conduction of such diversion the terrorists had to be located
in the very center of Israel, surveilling the depot and the
gasoline tankers, during at least a few weeks.
The very construction of the bomb is not common with Palestinian
terrorists. To blow up a Merkava tank in Gaza strip, they used
an explosive device of 100 kg. When they planned the blowing
up of the "Azrieli" tower in Tel-Aviv, they intended
to use a car with a ton of explosive. In the case of Pi-Glilot
the bomb was tiny, enough only to make the truck catch fire.
Immediately after the explosion Israeli information media told
that the SHABAK (General Security Service) was checking the
possibility of the al-Qaeda being involved in the terrorist
attack. Previously, Israeli officials, including the minister
of defense, Ben-Eliezer, and the prime-minister Ariel Sharon,
told several times about attempts of the Hizballa and Iran to
recruit Israeli Arabs for terrorist activity.
If we compare those two announcements, we return to the beginning
of this article - to Imad Mugnie, the "head of the special
security department" of the Hizballa...
Back to Top | Back
to Terrorism | Back
to the Front page