The group, calling itself Al-Qaeda in Palestine, warned of more killings. It said its next attack in the region would be "more destructive" and would use "trucks full of explosives."
Last Friday, Jad Tayeh, director of foreign relations for the Palestinian Authority's General Security Services, was assassinated in the Gaza Strip along with four of his assistants. The G.S.S. is controlled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
According to security officials here, the General Security Services routinely exchanges information with Israeli, American and European security agencies.
Senior Palestinian officials say Abbas this week told Hamas he is in possession of "concrete evidence" indicating Hamas was behind the Tayeh killing. Abbas reportedly threatened he would suspend talks of creating a national unity government unless Hamas arrested those responsible for the assassination.
Hamas currently holds the majority of Palestinian parliamentary seats. Fatah and Hamas have been negotiating the past few weeks regarding the possibility of forming a unity government.
Yesterday a pamphlet distributed in Gaza and signed by al-Qaeda claimed it assassinated Tayeh.
"We announce that our brothers in the al-Qaeda district of Palestine succeeded in reaching one of the most dangerous personalities (Tayeh) who serves his masters, the US and the Zionists, in order to hit the fighters inside and outside Palestine," read the pamphlet, which was obtained by WND.
The group said Tayeh was "part of a network of agents and traitors. It is very known this bastard was responsible for coordinating with the Zionist Mossad. This nonbeliever gave the US and Zionists important information regarding the Lebanese front during the last war."
Tayeh was mostly based in Lebanon but traveled last week to the Gaza Strip.
The al-Qaeda-signed pamphlet went on to threaten larger attacks: "Our next operation will be more destructive. The first tool we will use is trucks full of explosives. We therefore ask all the honest people in this nation to leave these traitors and not to work with them because we are going to punish them very soon."
'Armed jihad will be the main tool'
Previous pamphlets distributed in Gaza the past six months have been signed by independent groups claiming to work on behalf of al-Qaeda, such as the Palestine Islamic Army or the Army of Islam, but this was the first pamphlet in which the al-Qaeda name was signed directly.
In May the al-Quds Islamic Army, a group claiming to work on behalf of al-Qaeda, distributed pamphlets in Gaza announcing it had set up shop in the Palestinian territories and would target Americans and "Zionists."
In April, WND first reported another group, the Army of Islam, which claims to speak for al-Qaeda, announced an al-Qaeda leader as important as Osama bin Laden will soon reveal himself in the West Bank and Gaza and orchestrate local and global jihad from the areas.
The Army of Islam in June took credit along with Hamas and the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees terror group for the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilaf Shalit. The abduction prompted Israel's first ground invasion of the Gaza Strip since the Jewish state withdrew from the territory last year.
In his first-ever interview, Abu Muhammad, the declared leader of the Army of Islam, explained to WND why his group is different from other major Palestinian "resistance organizations."
"We believe that Muslims should participate in the jihad no matter how far the jihad field is from a geographic point of view," he said. "We are not limiting ourselves to the jihad in Palestine as the other Palestinian groups do, and we see that our duty obliges us to help Muslims and to participate in the jihad everywhere it is needed.
The terror leader warned attacks against US interests may come soon.
"(Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice said that the US wants a new Middle East, and there is no doubt that jihad, the armed jihad, will be the main tool and weapon when the day will come, and we believe that this day is not so far," Abu Muhammad said.
Reprinted with permission of WorldNetDaily