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Israel eyes spread of al-Qaida

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Ehud Olmert ordered Israel’s intelligence services to step up cooperation in the global fight against al-Qaida.

The prime minister convened his security Cabinet Wednesday to discuss the recent arrests of Israeli Arabs and Jerusalem Palestinians on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks on behalf of al-Qaida, the international Sunni Islamic terrorist network.

“Global Jihad elements are utilizing civilian infrastructures, such as the Internet and information transfer
technologies, to coordinate, recruit and operate terrorists,” Olmert’s office said in a statement after the discussions, using Israel’s generic term for Osama bin Laden’s network and followers.

The Prime Minister’s Office said Olmert instructed the head of military intelligence, the Mossad and the Shin Bet “to continue their information-gathering and counter-terrorism efforts while coordinating with additional countries that are partners in the war on terrorism.”

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