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In New Statement, 'Al Qassam Fighters' Address Al Qaeda Leaders, Voice Dissatisfaction With Hamas

A statement posted on several militant Islamist Internet forums rebuked the leadership of the militant Palestinian group Hamas' for drifting away from the path of "jihad" and engaging in the political process with the Palestinian Authority leadership. The statement was allegedly drafted by and on behalf of members of Hamas' military win al Qassam Brigades in Gaza and addressed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, his top deputy Ayman al Zawahiri, the head of the Islamic State of Iraq Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and senior al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al Libi.

The statement said al Qassam fighters no longer tolerated the deeds of their leaders who misled them when they opted for western democracy instead of "jihad." It was accompanied by a video showing a former senior operative in the group, Ramy Nizar Abu Sweirah, expressing those very same views. The statement said Abu Sweirah was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza last Thursday.

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