In a fax to news organizations yesterday, Sunday, April 15, a Gaza Strip terror gang named Al-Tawhid Al-Jihad claimed responsibility for the murder of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston. The puzzle at the time was that this gang, which can be translated as the Brigades of Holy War and Unity, had not been heard from before this moment and had certainly not been part of the month-long negotiation to free the correspondent from his abductors.
In fact, the identification of Al-Tawhid Al-Jihad is fundamental to the story and helps explain a good deal of why Johnston was abducted, why his death is a most strong likelihood, and why this public drama has taken a sudden dark turn.
Al Tawhid Al Jihad is a false flag for the Dugmash clan of Gaza. The Dugmash clan of Gaza is a Palestinian murder incorporated, a terror contractor that sells its services to the cash bidder. The Dugmash clan was linked directly to the abduction and $2-million dollar ransom of two Fox News reporters in the summer of 2006. The Dugmash clan has been linked directly to extortion, racketeering and homicide in the hire of the Hamas party of Gaza against the remnant of authority of the Palestinian Fatah party in order to wrest control of the Gaza Strip if not yet the whole of the West Bank. The Dugmash clan has been consistently reported as being linked to some aspects of Al-Qaeda in Gaza, and last summer gave an interview to Aaron Klein of WorldNet Daily in which a senior leader of the clan boasted its affection for Osama Bin Laden. The Dugmash clan has connections, and shares membership, with the notorious terror gangs responsible for massacring Israelis and Palestinians the last years in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, such as the Popular Resistance Committee and its affiliated groups Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade and Islamic Jihad.
The Dugmash clan is certainly a principal in the ongoing hostage drama of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and is strongly believed to be holding Shalit to this moment in Gaza.
Most recently, the Dugmash clan has been reported offering its services, for cash, to agents of the Hizballah of Lebanon, who are shopping for mercenaries in Gaza, looking to another round of war-making this summer.
Because the Johnston tragedy is on-going, no conclusions can be reached with regard the methods and motives of the Dugmash clan abductors. What can be stated is a series of questions that need to be asked of the incident:
1. The Dugmash clan wanted cash for Johnston, as much as $5-million dollars. Tehran wholly funds, arms and directs agents of Hizballah in Lebanon. There are reports that Tehran is spending liberally in Gaza and the West Bank to enlist Hamas-related terror group surrogates for this summer’s expected renewed confrontation with Israel. There are reports that Tehran has hired the Dugmash clan directly. What are the connections between Tehran’s hiring the Dugmash clan and the decision to break off with BBC negotiators and, as reported, execute Johnston?
2. Lines of authority do not exist in Gaza, however there are communications links between all the terror gangs. At what point did Hamas, at what point did Fatah, at what point did Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his lieutenant and security chief (and American liasion) Mahmoud Dahlan, learn that the Dugmash clan was breaking off negotiations and moving to execute Johnston?
3. Presuming Tehran did not have prior knowledge of the execution report, what are the steps that Tehran will now take to win advantage from the news reports? Will Tehran distance itself from the Dugmash clan? Or will Tehran use this as a propaganda tool to intimidate London as it did with the haphazard hostage taking of the 15 military Britons in Iraqi waters?
4. Presuming Tehran did have prior knowledge of the Dugmash clan’s intention to execute Johnston, what does Tehran gain from this death? Why does Tehran believe terrorizing the British media and public is an advantage in its preparations for armed conflict with America?
5. Or, if Tehran ordered Johnston’s execution, and paid for it, why? What does Tehran believe Blair will do with British and European public opinion that will assist Tehran in its campaign to provoke Washington? Is this Tehran’s next turn of the screw?
6. The video of Johnston’s execution, which is said to exist, will shock the American public. What will the Bush Administration do in answer? And what does Tehran believe this does to the already divided American government?