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October 03, 2002

How to bomb thy neighbor: Hamas offers on-line course

RAMALLAH — The Hamas organization has launched an Internet course in the production and assembly of explosives.

Israeli and Palestinian sources said Hamas, which claims responsibility for the lion's share of Palestinian suicide bombing attacks, has established an Internet site that offers Muslims instructions in the production of bombs, rockets and light aircraft. They said the news of the site has spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The instructions can be found on the web site of Hamas's Izzedin Kassam military wing, Middle East Newsline reported. The site, called "Military Academy," offers 14 lessons in bomb-making as part of what the Islamic group said is a campaign to expand the pool of bomb-makers.
The courses include lessons on the production of a belt filled with explosives that can be worn by a suicide bomber. Other courses demonstrated how to manufacture RDX plastic explosives, material that is said to be difficult to detect.
The Hamas online course also provides instructions on preparing regular bombs as well as methods to identify targets.

Izzedin Kassam said the process of producing suicide bombs requires three people. They are a bomb expert, an electrician and a tailor to sew the belt to the proportions of the suicide attacker.

The Hamas site is interactive and those taking the course can correspond with the movement's bomb instructors. But the military wing warned that those who miss one lesson will not be allowed to continue the course.

The site said those who ask a question about a lesson that already was given would be removed from the course. Those taking the course would also be required to take tests after each stage.

Hamas has made extensive use of the Internet to relay instructions and transfer funds.
Last month, Israeli authorities arrested three Palestinians who had been corresponding with Hamas in their attempt to poison patrols of a popular Jerusalem cafe. Officials said the Palestinian recruits failed to understand the instructions relayed over the Internet.

Israeli sources said Hamas has used the Internet as part of its drive to restore its infrastructure in the West Bank. They said some 100 Hamas agents have been arrested in the West Bank since April.

Hamas and the Lebanese-based Hizbullah have cooperated in recruiting suicide bombers. The mothers of some of the Hamas suicide bombers have appeared on Hizbullah's Al Manar television, widely viewed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and praised the decision of their children to kill themselves in attacks on Israel.

But one would-be suicide bomber surrendered to Israeli military authorities outside the northern West Bank of Nablus on Tuesday. Palestinian sources said the young man had been pressured by his mother to abandon plans for a suicide mission.

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