May 20, 2006

Israeli Targeted Killing of Ad-Dahduh

On Saturday, May 20, an Israeli air strike killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) military leader Muhammad Ad-Dahduh in the Gaza Strip. This is a continuation of Israel's policy to assassinate Palestinian leaders with Israeli blood on their hands. The attack was most likely a Hellfire guided missile strike fired from an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

Ad-Dahduh has been the leader of the Saraya Al-Quds, or the Jerusalem Companies, the military wing of the PIJ, since at least September 2005. At that time the Israelis carried out an almost identical operation against the man believed to be Ad-Dahduh's predecessor, Muhammad Al-Khalil; Al-Khalil was killed. This operation was likely in response to the April 17 bus station homicide bomber attack in Tel Aviv, conducted by the PIJ.

The precision of this operation points to the excellent intelligence capabilities in the Israeli security and military services, their ability to get the information into the hands of a shooter, and the political will to do it. Although the missile was fired by a military aircraft, the intelligence that was able to pinpoint a specific car on a specific road at a specific time was likely provided by the ruthless Israeli internal security service, commonly known by its Hebrew initials Shin Bet. To provide this level of detail requires either an Israeli operative on the ground or a well-placed Palestinian reporting asset - either of which are difficult and dangerous, but necessary.

This is how you hunt down and kill the bad guys. CIA, DIA and U.S. Special Operations Command - pay attention.