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12/10/2023 Intel Brief: What is Hamas?

Date: 12/10/2023

Who’s involved:

  • Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, Sayyid Qutb, the Al-Qassam Brigades, and others.

What happened?

  • On 07/10/2023 Hamas terrorists from the Al-Qassam Brigades broke through the Gaza security wall, entering Israeli towns, killing over 1000 people, and kidnapping nearly 100 others in an unprecedented attack.

  • The Al-Qassam Brigades are the armed faction of Hamas, which is a Jihadist Islamic Palestinian terrorist group founded in 1987 by Palestinian and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members.

  • Current leaders of Hamas and the Al-Qassam Brigades are Mohamed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh who are the de-facto dictatorial rulers of the Gaza Strip and have turned it into an Islamist-run territory. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have proclaimed Deif a “dead man walking”.

  • Al-Qassam refers to Izz ad-Din Al Qassam, who was a Palestinian militant who fought against the British Palestinian Mandate troops and Zionist groups in the 1930s. He was the militant founder of a radical form of Jihadism that propagated a war between Christians, Jews, secularists, and non-Jihadi Muslims on one side and Jihadi Islamic warriors on the other.

  • Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the official founder of Hamas, was a prominent Muslim Brotherhood member and introduced Islamism (or Jihadism) into the Palestinian resistance movements. He was inspired by Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Yussuf Azzam. Qutb was a Muslim scholar regarded as the spiritual founder of modern-day Jihadism or Islamism followed by groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, and Azzam, a Mujahideen leader, is believed to have helped establish multiple Jihadist organizations, including Hamas, with money from the Bin-Laden family.

  • Anti-semitism is a big part of Hamas and Al Qaeda’s ideology and the total destruction of Israel is on the agenda of all organizations who have Azzam/Qutb/Al-Qassam foundations.

  • Hamas has been responsible for dozens of terrorist attacks in Israel and abroad against Israeli or Jewish institutions. In videos and other propaganda, Al-Qassam militants can be recognized by their black outfits and balaclavas with green headbands.


  • After the initial attack on Israel on 07/10/2023 hundreds of Hamas/Al-Qassam terrorists were either killed by the IDF or had to return to Gaza with hostages as human shields. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has started a massive bombing campaign in Gaza to target Hamas headquarters and infrastructure in anticipation of an IDF ground invasion in the coming weeks. Hamas/Al-Qassam is expected to put up stiff resistance to any incursion by the IDF and it is likely that a battle between the two will last weeks. The IAF can destroy Hamas/Al-Qassam infrastructure, but ground troops of the IDF, supported by attack helicopters and drones, will have to go house to house in an effort to eradicate the militant organization. The goal of the IDF operation is not likely to be fully achieved but will be a hard hit for Hamas.

  • With Hamas being a Jihadist/Islamist organization, with a strong link to the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda, it is likely that foreign fighters will join, or already have joined, Hamas. These fighters can come from diverse backgrounds, but so far there have been reports of former Afghani Taliban fighters who have died in the initial attack on Israel on 07/10/2023. Any further escalation of the conflict can spark additional fighters from other nations to come and join Hamas in the battle against the IDF. They would have to cross the border with Egypt into Gaza or be smuggled into Gaza by boat.

Conclusion: With the attack on 07/10/2023 Hamas showed that it has the potential to strike deep in the heart of Israel. The brutality of the attack, however, has triggered a severe Israeli response. The IAF and IDF operations in Gaza are likely to decimate Hamas' infrastructure and troops. Hamas may not recover quickly from the coming Israeli invasion, which can easily turn into a renewed occupation of the Gaza Strip by Israel. A prolonged war could attract foreign fighters to Gaza, but it is also likely that Israeli and Jewish objects abroad may be targeted by Jihadi militants.


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