AL QAEDA IS claiming credit for the deadliest round of attacks seen in almost a year in Iraq.

RT reported an unconfirmed message left on websites from what’s allegedly the “Islamic State of Iraq (ISI),” which if true would be the first such message left by an Al Qaeda affiliate in Iraq:

“You will see mujahadeen at the heart of your country, since war has only just begun.” – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Most media outlets call the group “insurgents,” while identifying the same Al Qaeda terrorist who was sending the message.

The attacks were predicted Sunday in an audio message attributed to the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakir Al Baghdadi, and posted on the group’s Web site. The message promised that a new offensive, which it called Breaking Down Walls, would begin soon.

In sheer number of attacks, the offensive was without precedent this year and was sure to raise concerns about the government’s ability to contain the violence six months after the last American troops left the country. [NEW YORK TIMES]