More evidence the Syrian civil war isn’t only about control over Syria: A Salafist leader in Jordan – and prominent supporter of radical Islamists fighting in Syria – is warning that once rebels finish off Syrian President Bashar Assad, they will look south and aim for Israel.
Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Tahawi (aka, Abed Shihadeh) who heads Jordan’s radical Salafist group made a fiery speech at the funeral of a suicide bomber on Sunday. Roi Kas of the Israeli Ynet translated the threatening quotes (emphasis added):
“We tell Benjamin Netanyahu, the (Israeli) prime minister, get ready. The army of the Prophet Mohammad is coming your way.”
Shihadeh added: “Those carrying explosives in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will find you, Allah willing,” he added. “The next fight is between us and you.”
The jihadist leader further pledged to “Take over Damascus and then head to Tel Aviv… As far as we are concerned, Palestine stretches from river to sea, from Rafah [southern border with Egypt] to a-Nakura [Rosh Hanikra northern border with Lebanon]. We will not rest until Palestine is liberated.”
Commenting on the United States’ decision to add the al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra to its terror watch list, Shihadeh said that “Allah blesses the heroes of Jabhat al-Nusra.
“America is the mother of all terror in the world,” he added, further blaming the US for “standing by Assad and the Jews.”
This is not the first time radical Islamists have revealed their true ultimate goals in Syria’s 21-month conflict that’s claimed the lives of nearly 40,000. It’s not only President Bashar Assad they want to topple from Syria.
Among the other examples TheBlaze has highlighted in recent weeks: Syrian rebels have named their new homemade tank the “Sham II.” Sham is a name historically associated with the concept “Greater Syria,” that is the land that covers not only Syria but Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, parts of Turkey and Israel, revealing the rebels’ larger plans.
Earlier this month, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) captured Syrian rebels waxing about their dream after Assad, to not only conquer Israel but also to go for “Cordoba and Andalusia,” site of the Muslim caliphate in Middle Ages’ Spain.
There are close ties between Islamist militants in the bordering nations. Last week, a Jordanian citizen was tapped to head jihadist forces in Syria according to the Jordan Times. Quoting a “Syrian Islamist source,” the Times reported that 38-year-old Mustafa Abdul Latif Al Saleh (aka, Abu Anas Al Sahabi) was named commander of the jihadist forces fighting Assad. He was appointed to the position by the Jabhat Al Nusra Li Ahl Al Sham coalition. [As in the new tank, note again use of the loaded name “Sham.”] This is the group the Obama administration designated earlier this month as a terror organization.
Fox News profiled the radical Jordanian leader who this weekend threatened Israel in an article in 2010. It reported that al-Tahawi who was then in jail was the face of an Al Qaeda recruitment campaign. Fox reported:
Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Tahawi, who is influential in Jordan but little known elsewhere, has been the subject of recent widespread praise from suicide bombers and jihadist leaders. Experts say the attention he’s getting from his fellow terrorists suggests an attempt by Al Qaeda to recruit his followers and turn his imprisonment into a flashpoint that can be channeled to open a new front in Jordan.
Al-Tahawi, also known as Abed Shihadeh al-Tahawi, is an influential local leader of Salafi Jihadism, an extremist, militant sect of Islam that prizes martyrdom, seeks jihad and provides the ideological basis for Al Qaeda.
According to Fox, Al-Tahawi was sentenced in 2005 to three years in prison for masterminding a plot to attack the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Amman. Four years later, he was arrested again for “provoking terrorist acts, inciting sectarian strife and belonging to an illegal group.”