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General Pershing

Targeted assassination in Gaza disrupts al Qaeda attack

According to counterterrorism sources at DebkaFILE, a U.S. warship launched a missile that killed an al Qaeda commander in Gaza City.

Namnam was the operational commander of Army of Islam, al Qaeda’s Palestinian cell. DebkaFILE’s sources stated that the Palestinian cell had planned to infiltrate into Egypt and attack U.S. personnel in the North Camp of El Gorah, while another al Qaeda force would attack U.S. Marines and airmen at the South Camp. Egyptian intelligence had reportedly tracked Namnam casing U.S. forces and caching weapons in preparation for the attack, which was set for Sunday, Nov. 7.

If the U.S. is the source of the attack, it would mark the first known targeted assassination by the U.S. in Gaza.

There are conflicting reports as to whether the explosion was caused by a missile or a car bomb. The Israeli military has taken credit.

UPDATE: Considering the Commander-in-Chief's sympathy to the Palestinian cause (and stating on record that Hamas has legitimate claims) and an extraordinary aversion to collateral damage, it seems highly unlikely that the U.S. would kill an al Qaeda/Hamas leader in Gaza City. Although I am not entirely familiar with the Navy's arsenal of missiles, it would seem unlikely that something launched from a ship at sea would have the ability to strike a moving vehicle in a city with little collateral damage (one dead terrorist and one injured).

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