Islamic Jihad: At War with the West

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TEL AVIV, Israel -- A shaky cease-fire between Israel and Hamas expired Friday.

That truce lasted for six months.

CBN News has learned that another of Israel's enemies has been using this time to regroup and prepare for more violence.

Members of Islamic Jihad may be driven by hate, but there's an element of respect as they train for war.

"Our training is similar to the American special forces," said one commander.

Weapons and Funding

Officials at Israel's Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv know that Gaza terror groups like Islamic Jihad are upgrading their threat to Israel. They also know that much of the funding and weapons are coming from Iran.

"It's a very good client from the Iranian point of view, because it's completely in the pocket of the Iranians, completely financed and run by the iranians," said Jonathan Spyer, Senior Fellow at Idc Herzliya.

Speyer is an Israeli Middle East analyst.

"What we're seeing as a result of the cease-fire is that you're having more and more palestinian operatives - not only from Islamic Jihad, but from other groups too, going out of gaza via the southern tunnels into Sinai and then going and taking part in training activities facilitated by the revolutionary guards in Iran," he explained.

Upgraded weapons include heavy roadside bombs.

"We use it to target tanks and heavy machinery above 62 tons," said an Islamic Jihad engineer. "It weighs 175 pounds. It can penetrate ten inches of armored steel."

And rockets aimed at Israeli cities.

Jerusalem rockets will reach five to seven miles, and our engineers are working on it to reach 11 to 13 miles," the engineer said.

Rockets now reach the coastal city of Ashkelon and will soon threaten areas not far from Tel Aviv.

These Islamists are committed and ready to die.

"When we leave on a mission, we hope not to come back, because paradise is our final home," explained one member.

"Nothing Will Stop Us"

However, when it comes to their Islamic belief, they have a different story to tell.

"When we put our uniforms on, nothing will stop us," one Islamic jihadist said. "We feel we are about to meet Allah."

While the world searches for a two-state solution for Arabs and Jews, the Jihadists want much more.

"Palestine means from the Sea to the River," another man said. "It is an Islamic Waqf. This enemy should find himself a different place. We will continue our Jihad until we defeat the last soldier of the enemy, and liberate Palestine as a whole."

And their Islamic goals are settled.

"We need to please Allah," said the man said. "And we ask him to grant us one of two things -- martyrdom or victory."

The recent attack in Mumbai is the latest deadly reminder of what radical Islamists can do with training, money and coordination.

Spyer believes the clash could last twenty more years.

"It's an ideology which is right now on the way up," he said. "It's an ideology which is at war with the West, and first and foremost. The West I think has to realize it is at war. It's got a real war on its hands.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Senior Editor

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