Israeli Army: Five activists on flotilla liked to al-Qaeda, Hamas
The Israeli Army said Sunday that five activists of different nationalities aboard the Turkish-flagged ship intercepted last week were linked to Hamas and al-Qaeda, dpa reported.
The five were reported to be aboard the Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in the flotilla of six aid ships with more than 700 international activists en route to Gaza that were forcefully intercepted by Israel on May 31.
Naval commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara were attacked by activists wielding iron bars and clubs. But it was unclear whether the five took part in the confrontation.
Included in the five was Fatimah Mahmadi, a US resident of Iranian origin, who was allegedly smuggling forbidden electronic components into the Gaza Strip while working with the organization Viva Palestine.
Ken O'Keefe, an American-Briton, was described as an "operative" of Hamas trying to form and train a commando unit for the Islamist group. Ahmad Umimon, a Frenchman of Moroccan origin, was also described as an operative of the Islamic group.
Hassan Iynasi and Hussein Urosh, both Turkish citizens, allegedly provided financial support to the Islamic jihad, and assisted in smuggling al-Qaeda operatives via Turkey into the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Army said.