JERUSALEM – The Egyptian government is investigating information it has obtained pointing to Palestinian Authority financial support for an Islamist organization accused of carrying out the deadly New Year’s Day suicide bombing at a church in Alexandria, Egypt.
The PA is financially backed by the U.S. and European allies who supply most of the PA’s funds.
Egyptian government sources tell WND they were supplied with information showing the PA has been supporting Jayish al Islam, a Palestinian al-Qaida ally accused of the Coptic Christian church bombing in which 23 were killed.
Hamas, a rival to the PA, gave the Egyptians detailed bank account information proving members of Jayish al Islam received monthly salaries from the PA in the West Bank.
A top Hamas official in Gaza claimed to WND he is “certain” the PA finances the group in a bid to destabilize Hamas rule in Gaza.
Jayish al Islam is based in both the Gaza Strip and neighboring Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. It frequently challenges Hamas, which seized control of Gaza from the PA in 2007.
U.S. policy considers the PA to be moderate. America arms, trains and funds PA militias and provides hundreds of millions of dollars per year in financial support to the Palestinian group. President Obama, furthermore, backs the creation of a PA-led Palestinian state.
This is not the first time the PA has been implicated in funding Jayish al Islam and other al-Qaida allies.
WND reported in 2009 the American-funded PA provided financial support and, in at least one case, an official salary to al-Qaida allies in the Gaza Strip, according to information obtained by WND.
WND has learned that Abdel-Latif Moussa, leader of a Palestinian Islamist splinter group allied with al-Qaida, has been on the official PA payroll for at least one year.
In 2009, there were deadly fire clashes between Hamas and Moussa’s group after Moussa declared the Gaza Strip an “emirate,” or under strict Islamic rule, in a sermon.
Moussa’s group, Jund Ansar Allah, or Warriors of God, branded Hamas as un-Islamic and issued revolutionary statements against Hamas. Jund Ansar Allah previously has been accused of multiple deadly attacks against Christians in Gaza.
According to a PA official, Moussa, a trained doctor, had been on salary with the PA as a physician.
According to multiple sources in Gaza, however, Moussa has not practiced medicine for the past 10 years.
Last September, WND quoted informed security officials stating Fatah was providing money to al-Qaida-inspired Islamist groups in Gaza to build them up at the expense of Hamas.
The security officials said there was no official decision within Fatah to bolster the Islamist radicals, but that top Fatah officials were acting independently.
A senior source in Hamas’ Interior Ministry told WND last September that Hamas arrested a number of Fatah members in Gaza suspected of serving as links between the Islamist radicals and Fatah officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’ chief political adviser in Gaza, told WND he has many questions about the financing of Jund Ansar Allah.
“They have a lot of weapons and money, making everyone here wonder how they got such weapons and explosive material,” he said, speaking by cell phone from Gaza.
Aside from blaming the PA, Yousef also claimed Israel may have provided Jund Ansar Allah with weapons.