WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States
Thursday put the Army of Islam, a Palestinian militant group
based in the Gaza Strip and blamed for numerous attacks, on its
official terrorism blacklist.
The Army of Islam gained notoriety in 2006 when it worked
with Hamas to capture Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and was also
involved in the 2007 abduction of BBC journalist Alan Johnston.
The two groups are now rivals.
The U.S. State Department said the Army of Islam, which is
closely linked to Gaza's powerful Doghmush clan, was also
responsible for a number of rocket attacks on Israel and
attacks on Egyptian civilians in 2009 which resulted in
casualties and deaths.
"AOI has previously worked with Hamas and is attempting to
develop closer al-Qaeda contacts," the State Department said in
a statement, noting that the group had released a eulogy for al
Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after he was killed in Pakistan
during a raid by U.S. forces on May 2.
The State Department now has 48 groups on its official list
of foreign terrorist organizations including Hamas, which
controls the Gaza Strip.
(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
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