Pro-al Qaeda group tried to assassinate Blair, Carter in Gaza

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Jerusalem, Sep. 7 (ANI): A Gaza Strip based pro-al Qaeda terrorist organization has revealed that it tried to kill former British prime minister and Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair and former US president Jimmy Carter.

Mahmoud Taleb, a former commander of Hamas's armed wing, disclosed that his men had planned to assassinate Carter and Blair during their recent visits to the Gaza Strip, but the plot was foiled after Hamas arrested the men assigned for the task.

"The hands of Carter and Blair are stained with Muslim blood. It was our duty to kill the two," The Jerusalem Post quoted Taleb as saying in his recent e-mail to the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Taleb, described as the Palestinian Osama bin Laden, has been in hiding for more than two years. Several attempts by Hamas to arrest him have failed.

Last week, Taleb's group, which is called Jaljalat (thunder), carried out bombings outside two government-controlled security institutions in Gaza City to avenge the killing of a rebel group leader Abdel Latif Moussa and 30 other Palestinians.

In his e-mail, Taleb declared that his loyalists considered Osama bin Laden to be the "emir" and "guardian" of all Muslims.

"We don't belong to al-Qaida organizationally, but we follow their ideology," Taleb wrote.

"We pray to Allah that we will become part of them. They are our brothers and it's our duty to support them."

Taleb said he was aware of the fact that he had become No. 1 on Hamas's list of wanted men, and claimed that his men are ready to launch attacks against Hamas.

"They [Hamas] confiscated much of our weapons and ammunition," he said. "Hamas also arrested many of our warriors upon their return from jihad missions." (ANI)

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