The group of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi declared its allegiance to Osama bin Laden on Sunday, saying it had resolved a dispute with al-Qaeda over strategy and vowing unity against "the enemies of Islam."
The authenticity of the statement, found Sunday on an Islamic Web site, could not be confirmed.
The statement said the Jordanian al-Zarqawi, leader of the Tawhid and Jihad group, had been in contact with bin Laden eight months ago and "viewpoints were exchanged" before the dialogue was interrupted.
"God has soon blessed us with a resumption in communication, and the dignified brothers in al-Qaeda understood the strategy of Tawhid and Jihad," the statement said.
It announced the "allegiance of Tawhid and Jihad's leadership and soldiers to the chief of all fighters, Osama bin Laden," declaring that it would follow his orders without question.
"You are the best leader for Islam's armies against all infidels and apostates," said the statement by the group.
The statement said the announcement was being made at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, "at a time where Muslims need more than ever to stick together in the face of the religion's enemies."
"It's good tidings for our Ummah (nation) ... to tease the infidels and scare the enemies of Islam."
Al-Zarqawi and a dozen of other activists were indicted Sunday in Jordan for plotting to attack U.S. and Jordanian interests.
In announcing its allegiance to al-Qaeda, Tawhid and Jihad called for Muslims to rally around bin Laden. "Come on, nation's youth, let's follow the chief of all fighters ... to cleanse the lands of Islam from any sinful infidel or apostate." (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )