The Shin Bet security service believes that if Yasser Arafat remains in charge of the Palestinian Authority, terror attacks can be expected all the way to 2006, for lack of any political progress that includes the Palestinian security services fighting terrorism.
While terror attacks like yesterday's in Jerusalem will be rarer, they could become more deadly and involve the use of chemical, biological or radioactive materials.
Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter thinks the faster the separation wall goes, the more terror groups will try to make whatever attacks they get past Israeli security as painful and significant as possible.
According to Shin Bet information, Arafat is not ordering any terror attacks but neither is he allowing any internal attempts to unify the security services under anyone else, like Mahmoud Abbas, Mohammed Dahlan or Ahmed Qureia, who has been denied any control over any security services.
The Shin Bet is not anticipating any sudden moderation in Arafat's positions, since this is an American election year.
The Shin Bet's support for creating obstacles to terrorists, like the security fence, is largely based on the fact that obstacles force the terror cells to rely on more people, thus creating more opportunities for intelligence penetration.
But the fence could also spur terrorists to try using new ingredients in bombs. Experts say there is no shortage of resources, medical or otherwise, in the Palestinian territories, for biological, chemical and even radiological elements to be introduced.
Even in even small dosages, such materials put in a regular bomb to make it "dirty" could create panic.
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