In a message posted today, March 1, 2005, to a jihadist message board allegedly by al-Qaeda in Iraq, (Qaedat al-jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn) the group denies recent media reports that it claimed responsibility for the recent suicide operation in al-Hillah, which killed 125 and injured another 148. While the group specifically names a report issued by al-Jazeera, the report was additionally aired by Reuters and other news agencies.
Yesterday, February 28, 2005, the group issued a communiqué claiming responsibility for an operation in southern Baghdad along the road to al-Hillah (as distributed yesterday by the SITE Institute Intelligence Service and attached again here). The newer statement claims that media agencies mistook yesterday?s communiqué as a claim of responsibility for the larger attack located within the limits of al-Hillah. ?There is a difference,? the message reads, ?between Hillah and southern Baghdad.?
?We, the media department of al-Qaeda in Iraq,? the group decrees, ?announce that we have our own means of publication and that we observe the accuracy of the statement with truth in the wordings. No one should aspire to say about us what we haven?t said.?
The authenticity of this statement could not be verified.
A full translation of the message is provided to our Intel Service members.