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Al-Qaeda chief breaks out of jail
November 3, 2005 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Newsfilter: Al-Qaeda chief breaks out of jail. Al-Qaeda's former South-East Asian chief has escaped from a US military prison in Afghanistan. The escape of Omar al-Faruq, with three other alleged terrorists, from the Bagram Air Base in July was suppressed, emerging only after he failed to testify at a US military tribunal on Tuesday.
posted by soiled cowboy (39 comments total)

 
So, can we charge him for contempt of court then?
posted by my sock puppet account at 5:37 PM on November 3, 2005


Actually, according to ABC News last night, it only came out after he showed up on TV giving instructions to his compatriots on how to break out if they got captured too. Oops.
posted by smackfu at 5:39 PM on November 3, 2005


Sounds very very fishy to me. If this is all there is to it, then it's a debacle. Escaping by picking a lock and walking out? I really hope there are games being played, and him escaping is exactly what the CIA or whoever wanted him to do.

He provided intelligence that prompted the US ambassador to Indonesia to warn then president Megawati Soekarnoputri that JI was set to attack a "soft" Western target.

Can he even go back to his old compatriots if this is true?

The escape of Omar al-Faruq, with three other alleged terrorists, from the Bagram Air Base in July was suppressed,


Suppressed by who? The local commanders? That seems unlikely. Suppressed by the US government? Also seems bizarre. Did they not think people would find out?
posted by loquax at 5:41 PM on November 3, 2005


We're winning!!!1
posted by odinsdream at 5:44 PM on November 3, 2005


Great, now there are just that many more number-two Al Qaeda agents running around. And we'd caught so many!
posted by S.C. at 5:44 PM on November 3, 2005


...the war on terror, that is.
posted by odinsdream at 5:44 PM on November 3, 2005


Why don't we fit all the Al Qaida guys with homing devices or something. It's not like we're above doing things like that at this point. I really hope the CIA has thought of this.
posted by my sock puppet account at 5:45 PM on November 3, 2005


I am not buying into it until more credible evidence is shown.
posted by Dean Keaton at 5:47 PM on November 3, 2005


"Officials say that the man guarding his cell fell asleep. Al-Faruq broke a leg from his metal bed and used that to fish the keys from the belt of the prison officer. The spokesman refused to be drawn on the subject of large comedic key rings."

To anyone trying to get near the truth: give up. This is the way America operates now.
posted by fire&wings at 5:49 PM on November 3, 2005


Might as well have been "Officials say that the man guarding his cell fell asleep. Al-Faruq reached for the keyring sitting on the edge of the desk, but upon being unable to fully reach it, placed one leg out of his cell, which was made of bamboo bars. Still failing to reach the keys, Al-Faruq stepped fully out of his bamboo cell, obtained the keys, snuck back in to his cell and unlocked the door to escape."
posted by odinsdream at 5:54 PM on November 3, 2005


If this is all there is to it, then it's a debacle.... I really hope there are games being played, and him escaping is exactly what the CIA or whoever wanted him to do.

You know, chances are that if it was engineered by the CIA, it's going to wind up a debacle anyway. They're like the keystone cops of international covert intelligence.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:56 PM on November 3, 2005


I am not buying into it until more credible evidence is shown.

If only the same were true of that whole WMD thing.
posted by odinsdream at 5:56 PM on November 3, 2005


Shhhhhh!!!


People might start talking about that Bin Laden guy again.
posted by j.p. Hung at 5:57 PM on November 3, 2005


Officials say that the man guarding his cell fell asleep. Al-Faruq broke a leg from his metal bed and used that to fish the keys from the belt of the prison officer.

Isn't that exactly how Otis broke out of jail while Barney Fife was sleeping?
posted by kirkaracha at 6:10 PM on November 3, 2005


Ah, they just let him out to get his steam up a little. Once he's tired himself out a bit, they'll nab him again. Poor little tyke, all tuckered out like that. Let's try to get him into his cell without waking him up, okay?
posted by lumpenprole at 6:20 PM on November 3, 2005


I'm not saying this has happened, but letting someone go back into the wild is -- historically -- a very good way to find out what's happening in the wild.

Who knows? I swear, we know more about other planets than we do about Afghanistan.
posted by cloudscratcher at 6:35 PM on November 3, 2005


Ooops.

Are there a lot of #2's because Bush thinks they're all dookie?
posted by fenriq at 6:39 PM on November 3, 2005


It does seems a little Keystone Kops-ish... then again nothing really surprises me anymore.
posted by clevershark at 8:12 PM on November 3, 2005


Al Qaeda is once again a mighty threat !

.......Torture thousands, have no mercy ?

.......An extra 200 billion for the Pentagon ?

.......Free balloons and cotton candy for all ?
posted by troutfishing at 8:23 PM on November 3, 2005


I can't find any mention of this at the NYT, WaPo, or CNN. Incredible.

Or not.
posted by gsteff at 8:30 PM on November 3, 2005


You're doing a hell of a job, Bushie.
posted by bshort at 8:34 PM on November 3, 2005


So what, do they have Rove and Libby running these prisons now?

Y'know what, lets just let them all out and we can spend the next five years rounding them all up again.
posted by Jon-o at 8:40 PM on November 3, 2005


Me, I'm always looking for an opportunity to defend myself.
posted by DrAwkward at 8:42 PM on November 3, 2005


I can't find any mention of this at the NYT, WaPo, or CNN. Incredible.
Indeed.
posted by kickingtheground at 8:46 PM on November 3, 2005


Officials say that the man guarding his cell fell asleep. Al-Faruq broke a leg from his metal bed and used that to fish the keys from the belt of the prison officer. The spokesman refused to be drawn on the subject of large comedic key rings.

This is almost exactly a plot point in The Living Daylights, except James Bond obtained the large comedic key ring from the Russian guard by force and threw it to the scruffy mujahid, who turned out to secretly be a guerrilla commander. All at a Russian airbase that might as well have been Bagram.
posted by dhartung at 8:46 PM on November 3, 2005


Y'know. . .if I were going to set up an international chain of detention and torture camps of dubious (at best) legality, I'd take a few precautions. Like making sure there were guards on the weekends, so the incredibly dangerous international terrorists couldn't just PICK THE LOCKS ON THEIR CELLS AND WALK OUT. Jesus. How can they be this evil and this stupid?
posted by EarBucket at 8:48 PM on November 3, 2005


How can they be this evil and this stupid?

It's like they're COBRA or something.
posted by Jon-o at 8:57 PM on November 3, 2005


I can't find any mention of this at the NYT, WaPo, or CNN. Incredible.

Indeed.


Oops :). I only scanned the front pages.

MSM 1, gsteff 0.
posted by gsteff at 8:58 PM on November 3, 2005


Summary Execution eliminates tedious problems like this.
posted by snsranch at 9:13 PM on November 3, 2005


Oh, don't be so hard on gsteff.
posted by troutfishing at 9:19 PM on November 3, 2005


Some interrogation specialists have said he probably was left naked most of the time, with his hands and feet bound.

No wonder we can't reach Houdini in those seances. He's been reincarnated.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:20 PM on November 3, 2005


EarBucket writes "How can they be this evil and this stupid?"

It's all about being a fiscally correct bunch of nutcases...or not.

Thanks, kickingtheground.
posted by taosbat at 10:05 PM on November 3, 2005


U.S. Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales described the failure to notify the region of Faruq's escape as a "serious problem" and promised an investigation.

That's funny. You'd think that the escape would be the serious problem that would deserve an investigation.
posted by spock at 10:06 PM on November 3, 2005


spock, that just makes it easy to see you're not on the right team, its the failure to keep the lid on the coverup that is the crime. Torture is good, torture is our friend, scapegoats are just like sacrificial lambs, we should be torturing them more, they know more, we should be hobbling all prisoners or keeping them in underground cities from which there is no escape.

And no damned buttinsky reporters! Why don't they go back to asking about what's in Georgie's pockets? Those questions were easy.

Damn it, now I've the image of Gonzales saying "I would have gotten away with it if weren't for those meddling journalists. And the video Omar made and put on tv. And the maps and descriptions of his escape he made and distributed."
posted by fenriq at 10:32 PM on November 3, 2005


Summary Execution eliminates tedious problems like this.

Summary Execution? Like a capital offense?
posted by Rothko at 10:33 PM on November 3, 2005


I really hope there are games being played, and him escaping is exactly what the CIA or whoever wanted him to do.

Well if this was a movie (or 24, Season 3 with Salazar, right?) one of the guys who helped him escape would turn out to be a double-agent, or a triple-agent or something.
posted by bobo123 at 11:44 PM on November 3, 2005


BULL FUCKING SHIT.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:25 AM on November 4, 2005


Wonder how long it will be before we find out if any of the Guantanamo detainees have escaped.
posted by creeptick at 1:19 PM on November 6, 2005


escaped is the new disappeared.
posted by Miles Long at 3:21 PM on November 6, 2005


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