Hamas, with gun AP 88.
(photo credit: )
An al-Qaida commander who escaped from a US prison in Afghanistan criticized Hamas in a new videotape Sunday and other Islamic groups that he said prioritized nationalism and electoral politics over Jihad, or holy war.
Hamas is focused on the creation of an independent Palestinian state rather than al-Qaida's vision of a worldwide Muslim community ruled by Islamic law. Like al-Qaida, the Palestinian movement advocates violence to achieve its goal, but has also participated in elections alongside the moderate Fatah group.
"We caution some of the Islamic groups, among them Hamas, which are risking the bloods of their sons ... to cleanse and purify their Jihad of contemporary Jihadi pollutants and of the terms which Satan made to appear pretty to them," said Abu Yahia al-Libi in the hour and a half-long videotape.
"Patriotism, nationalism, shared unity, the supreme interest and other slogans ... none of these have any space in the religion of Allah the Glorious and the Great," he said, criticizing groups like Hamas for "abandoning Jihad and jumping into the ballot boxes."
The authenticity of the videotape could not be verified, but it was released on a Web site commonly used by Islamic militants and carried the logo of Al-Sahab, al-Qaida's media arm.