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May 08, 2018

Hamas Telegram Channel Celebrates Bin Laden on the Anniversary of His Death


A telegram channel named for Hamas’ Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades heralded Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, on the seventh anniversary of the terror leader’s death. Hamas, an antisemitic U.S.-designated terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, is sometimes inaccurately portrayed in the press as merely a Palestinian nationalistic “resistance movement” to Israel; often minimizing or obfuscating on the group’s Islamist agenda.

A May 8, 2018 report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a non-profit organization that translates Arab, Russian, and Iranian media, noted that the telegram channel “published several messages about the late Al-Qaeda leader” on May 2, 2018. That channel has approximately 3,000 members. Additional eulogies were also posted on a separate Hamas forum.

Messages on the channel called Bin Laden a “lion,” an “educator” and an “innovative imam,” among other accolades. One message stated: “"On that day [May 2, 2011], we lost one of the knights of our nation, which only Hamas lamented at the time.” Attached to that message were several death notices that the group published following Bin Laden’s May 2, 2011 death.

Images of Bin Laden, along with several poems, were also posted on the channel and in Hamas’s forum.

Al-Qaeda and Hamas both call for Israel’s destruction and the genocide of Jews. The two groups also share an Islamist agenda; opposing secular rulers and seeking to impose their brand of Islam upon every segment of society. Matthew Levitt, a former U.S. Treasury Department terror analyst, noted in his 2006 book Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, that Bin Laden identified “Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin,” as one of his “prominent ideological influences.” Bin Laden's brother-in-law, Muhammad Jamal Khalifa, even maintained "relations with Hamas members" while working for a a charity called the Muwafaq Foundation in the Phillipines.

Levitt also pointed out that although the two groups don’t formally share an affiliation, “there is enough significant overlap in Hamas and al-Qaeda financing networks that informal person-to-person cooperation” in the area of funding is “probably inevitable.”

Nonetheless, some policymakers and pundits often seek to downplay Hamas’ Islamist sympathies and agenda. Journalists such as Robert Fisk and Max Blumenthal often whitewash Hamas’s objectives and tactics. In truth, the two groups—while having some significant differences—still have many important similarities, including a hatred of the West and Israel and a virulent antisemitism.

Posted by SD at May 8, 2018 03:12 PM

Comments

I have been trying to contact Hamas to find out where to send flowers.

Posted by: Lorensacho at May 10, 2018 11:29 AM

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