It was actually, oddly enough, a jihad group. “Al-Nusra Front jihadists claim Damascus suicide bombs,” from the Telegraph, May 12 (thanks to all who sent this in):
A little-known jihadist group has claimed responsibility for a double suicide bombing in the Syrian capital Damascus which killed 55 people and wounded nearly 400.
Many of the casualties were burnt alive in their cars as they waited in rush hour traffic on Friday near offices of a government intelligence organisation, the intended target.
In the video, a group calling itself the Al-Nusra Front says the bombing was in response to attacks on residential areas by the regime of President Bashar Assad.
“We fulfilled our promise to respond with strikes and explosions,” a distorted voice said, reading black text that rolled across a white screen while Islamic chanting was heard in the background.
The attack was frighteningly similar to al-Qaeda bombings in next-door Iraq, which have killed thousands of people since the US and British invasion in 2003.
The Al-Nusra Front has claimed past attacks through statements posted on militant websites. Western intelligence officials have suggested it could be a front for an al-Qaeda branch operating in Iraq….
The video said the bombs were a response to attacks on residential areas.
“We promised the regime in our last declaration to respond to its killing of families, women, children and old men in a number of Syrian provinces, and here we kept our promise,” it says. It calls for the protection of Sunni Muslims and threatens revenge against Alawites, the Shiite offshoot to which President Assad and many members of his security services belong.
“We tell this regime: Stop your massacres against the Sunni people. If not, you will bear the sin of the Alawites. What is coming will be more calamitous, God willing,” it says. It also advises Sunnis to avoid security offices – a veiled threat of future bombings….