Da Joooos don’t mess around.
n Saturday, the Israeli Air Force killed Abu al Walid al Maqdisi, the leader of one of several al Qaeda-linked jihadist groups in Gaza. Al Maqdisi, the former emir of the Tawhid and Jihad Group in Jerusalem, was killed along with his assistant in an airstrike tonight as he was riding a motorcycle, according to the New York Times.
While Israeli officials have not yet confirmed that al Maqdisi was the target of the strike, a statement from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that the targets were members of the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC), which had recently taken responsibility for a Grad rocket that struck the backyard of an Israeli home in Netivot on Friday evening.
The description of al Maqdisi as both emir of Tawhid and Jihad and a member of the Mujahideen Shura Council may not be contradictory, but may actually provide evidence of the consolidation of the smaller Salafi-Jihadist groups into the Mujahideen Shura Council.
The Israeli Air Force has launched several airstrikes against “global jihad” operatives in Gaza over the past week. On Oct. 7, the IAF killed Tala’at Halil Muhammad Jarbi, a “global jihad operative,” and Abdullah Muhammad Hassan Maqawai, a member of the Mujahideen Shura Council, who were reportedly planning a major attack from the Sinai.
The MSC has taken responsibility for a number of rocket attacks against Israel as well as the June 18, 2011 attack that killed one Israeli civilian. In July, the group released a 38-minute-long video in which it said that the June attack was “a gift to our brothers in Qaedat al Jihad and Sheikh Zawahiri” and retaliation for the death of Osama bin Laden.