Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terror Group Warns U.S. to Keep Hands Off Its Leader

A deadly Palestinian terror group bent on the destruction of Israel warned the U.S. to leave its Syrian-based leader be, or face "a wave of violent attacks."

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) issued its threat Tuesday, a day after the FBI posted a $5 million bounty for information leading to the capture of Jihad leader Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shallah, believed to be operating in Damascus.

The FBI offered a similar reward for Mohammed Ali Hamadei, leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia.

“Any harm to the secretary general of Islamic Jihad will endanger American interests everywhere in the region,” Abu Ahmed, a spokesman for Jihad’s military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, said in a statement.

“The Al-Quds Brigades, together with all the resistance factions, will confront decisively any American stupidity against the leaders of the Palestinian people, whatever their allegiance,” the group added.

Senior PIJ member Khalid Al-Batsh told that the reward announcement was in fact a decision of the Israeli government bent on assassinating Shallah.

He added, mockingly, “We at the Islamic Jihad will present an award equivalent to $50 to anyone who can provide information or help in arresting American President George Bush,” reported.

The spokesman threatened U.S. interests in the region with a “wave of violent attacks targeting all American interests if they come to harm secretary general Shallah or any other symbol of the resistance.”

According to the FBI's "Most Wanted Terrorist" site"

"Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shallah is wanted for conspiracy to conduct the affairs of the designated international terrorist organization known as the "Palestinian Islamic Jihad" (PIJ) through a pattern of racketeering activities such as bombings, murders, extortions, and money laundering. Shallah was one of the original founding members of the PIJ and is presently the Secretary-General and leader of the organization, which has its headquarters located in Damascus, Syria. He was listed as a "Specially Designated Terrorist" under United States law on November 27, 1995. Shallah was indicted in a 53 count indictment in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa, Florida."

Palestinian Islamic Jihad steadfastly rejects peace with Israel and advocates its destruction through ongoing terror attacks.

Among the deadly attacks the relatively small but vicious group has claimed responsibility for are the February 25, 2005, homicide bombing at a Tel Aviv resort that left four Israelis dead, 50 wounded; and, the bombing of the Maxim Restaurant on October 4, 2003, in which 21 people were killed and at least 60 wounded.

Shallah, 48, and a married father of four, has been on the "Most Wanted Terrorist" list since 1995.

Shallah earned a doctorate in banking and economics from a university in England. In the past, he has worked as a university professor in several countries and has ties to Tampa, Fla.; the Gaza Strip; Egypt; and London, according to the FBI Web site.'s George Kindel contributed to this report