"We would like to respond to what's been reported on January 6th by some hypocrites who quoted their masters at the Algerian Intelligence Agency, claiming that dozens of mujahideen died from plague," said the statement released by the group's media committee. "We assure that such claims are categorically untrue and the mujahideen are just fine."
The group claimed that such 'false' reports had been deliberately released to prevent young people from joining al Qaeda. The statement also dismissed other media reports that claimed that the leader of AQIM had issued a religious edict allowing the killing of prominent Egyptian actor Adel Imam, who had recently blamed the Gaza war on Hamas. "Any statement released on our behalf by sources other than al Fajr Media is a false and deceptive statement."