By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
The Israeli army recently shot and killed three terrorists in the West Bank. The incident was unusual.
The first reason is that the West Bank had been pretty quiet, so a shoot out involving three terrorists was an out of the ordinary event. The second is that the group claiming that the three terrorists were their group members is a branch of al Qaeda.
The Palestinian Authority has maintained that there is no al Qaeda presence in the West Bank despite some serious signs showing evidence of the opposite. These three terrorists are the most recent and the most significant proof.
Al Qaeda influences come from the outside the West Bank by way of affiliated organizations trying to motivate locals to join their al Qaeda ranks.
There are two methods of recruitment. One is when organizers infiltrate into the West Bank. Another is by way of the internet. Online sermons and chat rooms and websites serve as gathering places from which the organizers garner support for their local objectives and global goals.
The PA responded to the shooting saying that these three terrorists were not al Qaeda members. They need to deny the affiliation because if they were, it would prove that another force is emerging which is outside the influence of the official PA.
The Palestinian Authority can deny as much as they want, but at this point it is pretty obvious to whom these three terrorists pledged their allegiance.
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