An interesting story from Reuters, with thanks to THE ONE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED.
JERUSALEM – Israeli security sources played down a report on Sunday that a key suspect in this month’s London bombings is believed to have helped plan a pro-Palestinian suicide attack in Tel Aviv two years ago.
Maariv daily said Mohammad Sidique Khan travelled to the Jewish state in 2003 and that Israeli defence officials suspect he helped two fellow British Muslims carry out a suicide bombing at a beachfront bar that year that killed three people.
British police named Khan, 30, as a member of a cell that killed at least 55 people in the July 7 bombings in the capital.
A senior Israeli security source said the Maariv report, which cited no evidence, was unsubstantiated.
“This is not a concrete finding,” the source said.
Israeli officials are under orders from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon not to draw links between the London attacks and Palestinian militants to avoid offending British sensibilities.
After al Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, Sharon was quick to draw parallels to Israel’s own struggle against Islamic militants who have spearheaded a Palestinian uprising since 2000.
Hamas, an Islamic movement sworn to Israel’s destruction, issued a joint claim of responsibility for the April 2003 attack on the Mike’s Place bar along with al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of the dominant Palestinian political faction Fatah.
Asaf Hanif, a Briton of Pakistani descent, blew himself up at the bar, but his comrade Omar Sharif fled after apparently failing to detonate his bomb. Sharif’s body was found in the sea a week later. Investigators concluded he had drowned…
Voicing support for the Palestinian revolt, which erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2000, is central to al Qaeda methodology.
But Palestinian officials and militants say Osama bin Laden’s network has no significant presence in their midst and emphasise the differences between their grievances, goals and methods and those of al Qaeda.
Some Israeli analysts agree, noting doctrinal differences between al Qaeda, which operates internationally and targets moderate Muslims as well as non-Muslims, and Palestinian militants, who have recently limited their attacks to Jews in Israel and Israeli-occupied territories…
So, the difference between al-Qaeda and Hamas is their immediate targets…now we know.