CAIRO, Egypt – A group claiming to be an Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda (search) said it -- and not Saddam Hussein -- is behind recent attacks on U.S. forces, according to a videotape aired on an Arab TV station Sunday. The tape couldn't be immediately verified.
Al-Arabiya (search), a satellite station based in Dubai, aired the 4-minute video showing a black-and-white still photograph of an unidentified man dressed like an Islamic cleric in a robe and white turban. He has a long white beard, also typical of Islamic clerics.
A distorted male voice reads a message warning American forces to "leave Iraq's territories and to live up to their promises."
The voice describes himself as a member of the "Islamic Armed Group of Al Qaeda, Fallujah branch." He says his group is behind the attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq.
"By God, not one of [Saddam's] followers carried out any of the Jihadi [holy war] operations like he claims," the voice said, saying "our Mujahedeen brothers" did instead.
The voice promised more attacks: "The coming days ... will show you the strike that will break America's back."
The claim is the first by a purported Iraqi group linking itself to Usama bin Laden's terrorist network.
The U.S. Central Command said it could not comment on the tape.
"I'm aware of tape via media reports, but I have no comment as to the authenticity of it or the group that claims responsibility," Centcom spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nick Balice said in Tampa, Fla.
An executive from the station had no details on the man pictured in the video, which was delivered recently to the station's Baghdad office.
U.S. forces in Iraq have been targeted daily by ambushes, and dozens have died, including in Fallujah (search), an especially restive city west of Baghdad.