Palestinian murderer of Italian reporter killed fighting for Islamic State

AFP Photo
AFP Photo

A Palestinian jihadist from the Gaza Strip who broke out of prison there in June has been killed in an Iraqi and coalition airstrike targeting the Islamic State, Abu Al-Ayna al-Ansari, leader of an ISIS-aligned Salafi jihadist group in Gaza, told Breitbart Jerusalem.

The jihadist, Mahmoud al-Salfiti, had been jailed by Hamas in Gaza for the kidnaping and murder of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian reporter and activist with the far-left International Solidarity Movement.

Salfiti’s family in Gaza told Breitbart Jerusalem that they were informed of his death. Salfii’s cousin, Adham, said the family had opened a mourning tent Saturday to receive well-wishers.

Adham said that after Salfiti’s jailbreak in June, the jihadist had called his family to inform them of his arrival in Iraq to fight for ISIS.

The information affirms the trend of ties between ISIS and Gazan jihadists.

Last week, Breitbart Jerusalem published exclusive images of what jihadists said was an ISIS training camp in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula where some Gazan gunmen had trained.

The camp was in the same general area where a Russian passenger plane crashed last month. Russia announced the aircraft was brought down by a “terror act” and ISIS published what it claims is a picture of the bomb that downed the plane.

One image contained a sign bearing the name Sheikh Imam Abu Noor al-Maqdisi, also known as Sheikh Abdul Latif Musa. Maqdisi was the leader of a Salafist group in Gaza who proclaimed the formation of the “Islamic Emirate of Gaza” on August 14, 2009. One day later he was killed by Hamas forces.

According to the Gazan militant who provided the photos, the camp was a 10-month training center that closed up shop last July, when the Egyptian Air Force bombed jihadist positions in the Sinai during a massive military campaign.

One of the most significant elements of the camp is the Gaza-centric imagery. According to the Gazan jihadist who provided the photos, scores of Gazan militants received training in the ISIS base camp, which he says was run by the Sinai-based ISIS-affiliate Al-Wilayat group.

Support for ISIS has reportedly been on the rise in Gaza. In May, Hamas engaged in deadly clashes with ISIS supporters who challenged Hamas rule.

In July, the Information Bureau of the Aleppo Province, affiliated with ISIS, released a video entitled “A message to our folks in Jerusalem,” in which ISIS members originally from Gaza declared war on Israel and Hamas.

In the video, ISIS member Abu Azzam Al-Ghazzawim, who is originally from Gaza, delivered a strong-worded warning to what he called the “tyrants of Hamas”:

“You are nothing in our reckoning. You, Fatah, and all the secularists, we count you as nothing. Allah willing, we shall uproot the state of the Jews. You are nothing but froth that will be gone as we move in. Allah willing, Gaza will be governed by Shariah despite you.”

Abu Qatadah Al-Filistini, an ISIS member who leads a faction in Aleppo, Syria, made an appearance in the video and called on all “monotheists in Gaza to join the convoy of the Muhajidin and to join the State of the Caliphate.”

Abu Qatadah accused Hamas of “sliding gradually into apostasy, a slide that started with the demolition of the Ibn Taymiyah Mosque.”

“It is a movement that does not seek to govern according to Shariah but seeks to appease Iran and America, the heads of apostasy.”