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THE AL QAEDA JAILBREAK

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 5, 2006 05:20 PM

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Jamal Ahmed Badawi: Free to kill again

The mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, which killed 17 American sailors, broke out of jail with 22 other prisoners in Yemen through a tunnel. Via the NYTimes:

A man convicted of masterminding the attack on the American destroyer Cole in 2000 escaped a Yemeni jail through a tunnel with 22 other prisoners, the international police organization, Interpol, said today.

The prisoner, Jamal Ahmed Badawi, was sentenced to death in 2004 by a court in Yemen for his role in the attack on the warship that killed 17 American sailors and provided an early glimpse of the workings of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda global terror network. The Interpol statement said that 12 of the prisoners who escaped through the tunnel with Mr. Badawi were convicted members of Al Qaeda.

Yemeni officials also confirmed to Interpol that a man responsible for the attack on the French tanker Limburg in 2002, Fawaz al-Rabeei, was among those who escaped.

The international police organization, based in Lyon, France, said in its statement that the escape of Al Qaeda operatives posed a danger to all countries, especially if they managed to get out of Yemen.

“Their escape cannot be considered an internal problem for Yemen alone,” Interpol’s secretary general, Ronald K. Noble, said in urging member countries to take precautionary measures at their borders.

The escape took place on Friday through a 460-foot tunnel that had been dug by the prisoners and allies outside the prison, officials said.

Interpol said it had asked Yemen to provide it with fingerprints, names, photographs and other details of the escaped prisoners so that it could issue international wanted notices, which must be supported by national arrest warrants.

A Yemen security official, speaking Friday on condition of anonymity, said the 23 prisoners had broken out of what he described as a military intelligence detention center in the capital, Sanaa, according to The Associated Press.

Was there inside help? Don’t forget that our FBI and intelligence officials have long blown the whistle on Yemen’s obstruction of the investigation into the Cole bombing. Will the Yemenis get to the bottom of the escape…or not?

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Captain’s Quarters:

Let’s make a deal with the various governments in the region. We’ll take custody of AQ terrorists captured from now on, and they can use these high-security prisons for some other purpose …. perhaps training their guards about how to detect big holes being dug out from underneath them.

Background on Badawi’s first jailbreak in 2003 here.

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I’m just wondering, in advance of the Senate hearings tomorrow on the NSA terrorist surveillance program:

If Badawi has access to a cell phone, and calls an al Qaeda operative here in the U.S. to give the go-ahead on a mass terrorist plot, and that plot is executed killing thousands of innocent people on American soil, who will the NYTimes editors and Democrat leaders blame?

Hmmm?

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Interpol is cautioning other countries to secure their borders to keep the fugitives out. Knock, knock.

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Previous:

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Remember the Cole
A forgotten day of infamy
The DoD’s USS Cole Commission report
CRS report on the Cole attack
The Cole bombing, 9/11, and John O’Neill

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