Israeli intel: Suicide car bombs by Al Qaida proving effective against Hizbullah

Special to

TEL AVIV — Israel’s intelligence community has determined that Al Qaida was enhancing suicide strikes throughout the Levant.

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center asserted that Al Qaida was using suicide bombings as the main method of attack in such countries as Lebanon and Syria.

A Lebanese army soldier walks through the site of a car bombing in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. (Photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla Read more: Lebanon arrests al-Qaeda commander, defuses bomb | The Times of Israel
A Lebanese soldier walks through the site of a car bombing in Beirut on Jan. 21.  /AP/Hussein Malla

The center, the open-source arm of Israel’s intelligence community, said suicide car bombings have been effective against Iran’s main proxy, Hizbullah.

“Some attacks included a combination of two to three car bombs, simultaneously or gradually,” the center said.

In a report released in February 2014, the center cited Al Qaida’s Nusra Front for the Defense of the Levant as well as Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant. The attacks by these two groups were said to have reflected “a high
level of sophistication and professionalism.”

“In one terror attack, six suicide bombers detonated themselves at the
same time against two adjacent targets,” the report said.

In 2013, 15 percent of all suicide bombings worldwide were reported in
Syria. The report, believed to be the first study of its kind, said suicide
car bombings spread to Lebanon in 2014.

“These attacks spread to Lebanon in 2014, and have become the leading
modus operandi,” the report said.

Nusra, which uses Saudi nationals, was said to have conducted 43 out of
50 suicide bombings in Syria in 2012. The report said Nusra staged 34 of
these operations last year, while ISIL conducted nine suicide bombings.

“In our assessment, the longer the [Syrian] civil war drags out, the
more likely it is for suicide bomb terror attacks to occur in other states,”
the report said. “Foreign jihadi activists fighting in Syria who return to
their states might initiate, or take part in, suicide attacks, while using
their widespread operational experience acquired in Syria, and the
connections they formed with Al Qaida and global jihad activists.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login