CAIRO, Egypt – Tawhid and Jihad, the Iraqi militant group of terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search), apparently has changed its name two days after announcing its merger with Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda (search) organization.
An Internet statement released Tuesday under the purported new name, Al Qaeda of Jihad (search) in the Land of Two Rivers, claimed responsibility for an attack on a U.S. military convoy west of the Iraqi city of Fallujah the same day. The two rivers in the new name refers to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in Iraq.
Witnesses in Habaniyah, west of the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, reported seeing three American Humvees burning, but the U.S. military didn't comment on the alleged attack.
"A lion from the martyrdom brigades ... plowed into an American convoy that had entered Habaniyah," said the statement. The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified.
"The brother, God accept him, managed to destroy five Hummer vehicles and all those inside," the statement added.
The claim was posted under the new name by Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, a pseudonym that al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group had said was its legitimate source of information.
The statement, written in similar language to previous Tawhid and Jihad statements, also was posted on a Web site known as a clearing house for Islamic militants.
Al-Zarqawi's group declared allegiance to bin Laden, citing the need for unity against "the enemies of Islam," in an Internet statement posted Sunday. That statement also could not be verified.
The group has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on American troops, Iraqi security personnel and the kidnapping and beheading of several foreigners.