Islamist v Islamist

We’ve heard a good deal about Bob Lambert/Bergen/Cruikshank’s “set a thief to catch a thief” theory: that we should cut a deal in this country with Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood, in the hope that they’ll keep Al Qaeda at bay.

Well, this is what Islamist v Islamist looks like in practice:

The leader of a radical Islamist group involved in a shootout with Hamas in Gaza is one of at least 24 people killed in the raid, reports say.

Abdul-Latif Moussa died in an explosion, officials said, but it was not clear whether he blew himself up.

On Friday Hamas, which controls Gaza, launched a bloody crackdown on the group, Jund Ansar Allah, after it declared an “Islamic emirate”.

Scores were injured in the attack, on a mosque in Rafah, near the Egypt border.

Hamas also stormed Abdul-Latif Moussa’s house.

The fighting lasted seven hours and ended at about midnight on Friday.

Followers of the group said Abdul Latif-Moussa blew himself up in a crowd of Hamas police, but Hamas has denied this.

Six Hamas fighters, including a senior commander, and one civilian died. The rest of those killed were from Jund Ansar Allah.

About 120 people were injured, with some in a critical condition, the BBC’s Rushdi Abu Alouf says.

The Hamas spokesman, Tahir al-Nunu, said: “We hold Abdul-Latif Moussa and his followers fully responsible for what happened because of his hasty declaration during Friday prayers of a so-called ‘Islamic emirate’.”

Ideally, I’d rather not have that sort of ‘help’ on the streets of London.

Incidentally, note the key phrase here – “hasty declaration”. What that means, in case you missed it, is that Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate too, but believes that the time is not ripe. An odd aspiration for a supposedly national liberation movement.

Hamas and a copycat Al Qaeda, head to head, is a remarkable sight. This is how they appear to themselves:

But this is what they really are:

(Admittedly, a little less cheerful and a little more deadly)