A previously unknown group calling itself Al Tawheed and Al Jihad, apparently issueda press release on Sunday stating that it executed Alan Johnston, the abducted British reporter. The reporter was abducted by an unknown group last month in Gaza and his death has not been confirmed.Israeli Ynetnews reported that Johnston was killed by a group affiliated with Al Qaeda, yet the group appears to be newly formed and its affiliation is not clear.
Meanwhile, the BBC responded to the statements and said that it is “aware of these reports but has not received verification”. BBC News has not released any reports confirming Johnston's death, but has reported the group's claims to have killed him.
Yet, the group said it has a video tape capturing the execution of Johnston and that it will release this tape later on.
In its statement, the group said that “the world does not care about thousands of prisoners held by the occupation, but made so much noise about this foreign journalist”.
Furthermore, the statement said that the group “was disappointed by the position of the Palestinian Authority for trying to portray the case in an untruthful manner, which led us to kill the journalist so that our message is understood”.
The group held Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the British government “responsible for the blood of the reporter”.
Since the abduction of the reporter, thousands of Palestinian journalists repeatedly protested in the streets and held a strike demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Johnston, several Palestinian factions also demanded the unconditional and safe release of the reporter.
The Palestinian Ministry of Interior stated that so far there is "no information confirming the killing of the reporter".