Al-Qaida escapee from U.S. Afghan detention appears in second video since prison break

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CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – An al-Qaida member who escaped from a U.S. prison in Afghanistan last year appeared in a second video and urged Muslims to seek vengeance for the cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad that have appeared in several European publications.

Abu Yahia al-Libi, who broke out of prison in July, appeared in a video broadcast by the pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Arabiya last October in which he recounted how he and three other al-Qaida members, who also were shown in the recording, escaped from the facility.

Thursday’s video, which was posted on a Web site used by Islamist militants, suggests that al-Libi, who appeared alone, was still alive earlier this year during the cartoon controversy that peaked in January and February.

“Sharpen your swords, and get ready and make them drink the glass of death,” al-Libi said in Arabic during the 35-minute recording. Shown in front of shelves filled with books, he had a long black beard and wore a black turban and camouflage fatigues.

The authenticity of the video could not immediately be verified.

“We tell the state of Denmark, its sister Norway and France – the enemy of the veil, chastity and purity, which harmed the Prophet … we wish to see you toppled,” he said.

Islamic tradition bars any depiction of the prophet out of concern such images could lead to idolatry.

Afghan police said at the time of the escape that al-Libi’s actual name was Abulbakar Mohammed Hassan and that he was Libyan.

U.S. officials said the four suspected terrorists broke out of a U.S. military detention facility in the center of Bagram, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, fleeing through barbed wire stockades in the first escape from the compound since the American military took over the former Soviet air base.

The Pentagon, several months later, identified another of the fugitives as Omar al-Farouq – one of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenants in Southeast Asia.

In the past month, three al-Qaida leaders and an Afghan warlord who pledged to support the international terror network all have issued recordings that appeared on the Internet or were obtained by the Al-Jazeera satellite channel.

The Danish Jyllands-Posten first published the cartoons of Islam’s Prophet in September last year. Their republication in January sparked protests across the Islamic world that saw attacks against Western embassies and people killed in Libya and Pakistan.


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