Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mass al-Qaeda jailbreak in Iraq was 'insider job'


Mass al-Qaeda jailbreak in Iraq was 'insider job'

The mass jailbreak in Iraq that led to the freeing of hundreds of al-Qaeda

fighters was carried out with inside help from prison guards, officials have





6:19PM BST 23 Jul 2013


Comments1 Comment


As security forces launched a major manhunt to recapture those on the run,

Iraq's interior ministry said the gunmen who attacked prisons at Abu Ghraib

and Taji on Sunday night had been in "conspiracy" with guards at both



The scale of the assault has prompted warnings of "dark months ahead" as the

freed inmates - some of whom were top al-Qaeda operatives - launch new

campaigns against the government.


A statement from the interior ministry said: "There has been a conspiracy

between some of the guards of both prisons and the terrorist gangs that

attacked the prisons."


The allegation from the Iraqi government came as responsibility for the

jailbreak was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an

al-Qaeda franchise that many Sunni extremists in Iraq follow.


In a statement brimming with sectarian venom, it said the assault - one of

the largest and most sophisticated insurgent operations ever carried out in

Iraq - was the result of months of careful planning against Baghdad's

Shia-dominated government.


"The mujahideen [holy warriors], after months of preparation and planning,

targeted two of the largest prisons of the Safavid government," the group

said. Safavid is used by hardline Sunnis as a derogatory term for Shia



More than 50 people, including 26 guards and Iraqi soldiers, are now known

to have died in the attacks, in which teams of gunmen and suicide bombers

mounted synchronised assaults on both jails.


Iraq's justice ministry said that 260 prisoners had been freed, and that

around 150 had been caught again. The al-Qaeda statement claimed that more

than 500 had been freed, and that 120 Iraqi guards had been killed.


Questions were also asked as to why it took the Iraqi government 10 hours to

send in helicopter gunships to quell the fighting at Abu Ghraib, a delay

that some said suggested poor command and control within the security



One Iraqi politician, who asked not to be named, claimed that the assault on

the prison at Taji was planned simply to divert security forces from what

was to be the main strike at Abu Ghraib, where an estimated 15,000 inmates

are held.


He added that a number of senior Sunni guards at Abu Ghraib had gone missing

since, and that it was possible that they had been acting as "inside men".

Other reports claimed that inmates had started riots just prior to the

attacks to distract the guards, and had been armed with weapons.


"We are preparing for a very bad storm in the next few months now that these

inmates have been released," the politican said. "We are talking about

hard-core al-Qaeda here. Some were previously held by the Americans."


The attack came exactly a year after the leader of al-Qaeda's Iraqi branch,

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, launched a campaign called "Breaking the Walls", aimed

at freeing imprisoned comrades.


Last September al-Qaeda launched a similar operation that freed more than

100 inmates from a prison in Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit.


The ability of al-Qaeda to strike at the Iraqi government's most

heavily-guarded facilities shows how the organisation has regrouped in the

last two years - and also how the Iraqi government is struggling to maintain



Toby Dodge, an Iraq specialist at the London School of Economics and author

of Iraq: from war to a new authoritarianism, said: "It was one hell of an

operation and speaks very much to the reconstitution of al-Qaeda's capacity.

It also shows a Keystone Cops element to the Iraqi government's response."



(F)AIR USE NOTICE: All original content and/or articles and graphics in this

message are copyrighted, unless specifically noted otherwise. All rights to

these copyrighted items are reserved. Articles and graphics have been placed

within for educational and discussion purposes only, in compliance with

"Fair Use" criteria established in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976.

The principle of "Fair Use" was established as law by Section 107 of The

Copyright Act of 1976. "Fair Use" legally eliminates the need to obtain

permission or pay royalties for the use of previously copyrighted materials

if the purposes of display include "criticism, comment, news reporting,

teaching, scholarship, and research." Section 107 establishes four criteria

for determining whether the use of a work in any particular case qualifies

as a "fair use". A work used does not necessarily have to satisfy all four

criteria to qualify as an instance of "fair use". Rather, "fair use" is

determined by the overall extent to which the cited work does or does not

substantially satisfy the criteria in their totality. If you wish to use

copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you

must obtain permission from the copyright owner. For more information go to:











No comments:

Post a Comment