But the internet statement on Monday made no threats to disrupt the election process, unlike in the lead-up to earlier elections and the constitutional referendum, when such groups warned they would attack polling stations to stop people from voting.

The statement, which could not be immediately authenticated, said taking part in the election contradicted God's law, saying the only rules Muslims should follow were those in their holy Quran.

"To engage in the so-called political process and taking part in the renegade election are religiously prohibited and contradict the legitimate policy approved by God for the Muslims in their holy Quran," said the statement.

Puppet politics

The statement appeared on a website known for carrying material deemed extreme, and was issued in the name of al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and the Victorious Sect Army and the Islamic Jihad Brigades.

"We disavow anyone who enters into any agreement or deal with this puppet government on the so-called political process"

Internet statement by various groups 

The other groups mentioned were the little known Abu Bakr Salafist Brigades, the Propagation of Virtue, and Prevention of Vice Brigades.

"We disavow anyone who enters into any agreement or deal with this puppet government on the so-called political process," the statement said.

Patients, soldiers and prisoners began voting on Monday, a few days ahead of the general population, to choose Iraq's first fully constitutional parliament since the 2003 removal of Saddam Hussein.