A previously unknown Palestinian group claimed it had killed a
British journalist who was abducted in the Gaza Strip. The group, Unity of
God and Holy War Brigades, issued a statement Sunday in Gaza saying it
had executed the BBC’s Alan Johnston, who was snatched from his car by
unknown gunmen a month ago. According to the statement, Johnston was killed
as part of a bid to win the release of all Palestinians jailed in Israel.
The BBC said there was no independent verification for the claim
and called on Johnston’s captors to release him. The Palestinian
Authority said it was stepping up its own recovery efforts. Independent
analysts said the claim of responsibility bore some hallmarks of al-Qaida,
which is believed to have set up a Gaza cell in recent months.