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December 23, 2013 4

Newly Designated African Terror Group Targets Israel And Jews

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, also known as 'the one-eyed',  who broke away from Aqim to form al-Mulathamin

Mokhtar Belmokhter

The West African al-Mulathamun Bat­tal­ion, clas­si­fied last week by the State Depart­ment as a for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion (FTO), has a record of tar­get­ing Israel, threat­en­ing Jews and uti­liz­ing anti-Zionist rhetoric to inspire its followers.

In 2011, the group’s leader Mokhtar Belmokhter said that his fol­low­ers tried “to kill the ambas­sador of the Zion­ist entity” in a drive-by shoot­ing of the Israeli embassy in Mau­ri­ta­nia. In addi­tion to the embassy, they also shot at a night­club that Belmokhtar claimed the ambas­sador had been in moments before.

In Decem­ber 2012, within a month of for­mally break­ing away from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, with which they had been affil­i­ated, the al-Mulathamun Bat­tal­ion spokesman said, “I hope that France real­izes that it is going to have dozens of Mohammed Mer­has and Khaled Kel­kals.” Read­ers may recall, Mohammed Merah attacked stu­dents at the Otzar HaTorah Jew­ish school in France in March, 2012, and Khaled Kel­kal took part in a series of bomb­ings in France in 1995 that included the bomb­ing of a Jew­ish school in Lyon.

In August 2013, the al-Mulathamun Bat­tal­ion cre­ated an alliance with an orga­ni­za­tion called the Move­ment for One­ness and Jihad in West Africa, which has also been des­ig­nated by the State Depart­ment as an FTO. The alliance’s stated rai­son d’etre was “to con­front the Zion­ist cam­paign against Islam and Muslims.”

Such anti-Jewish and anti-Israel rhetoric and threats are com­mon for Islamist ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.

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