Saturday, October 13, 2012

Al Qaeda in Iraq claims credit for Tikrit jailbreak

The Islamic State of Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq's political front, claimed credit for a complex assault on the Tasfirat prison in Tikrit that freed more than 100 prisoners, including dozens of terrorists.

In a statement that was released yesterday on jihadist Internet forums and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, the Islamic State of Iraq said it executed the Sept. 27 prison break. The terror group said the operation was part of its "Destroying the Walls" campaign, which was announced at the end of July by Abu Du'a, the Islamic State of Iraq's emir. In that statement, Abu Du'a said that emphasis would be placed on efforts "to release the Muslim prisoners everywhere."

In yesterday's statement, al Qaeda in Iraq detailed its complex attack. The group claimed that "silenced weapons, hand grenades, and explosive belts" were smuggled into the prison, and then operations were coordinated between the "imprisoned brothers inside the jail" and the assault team outside.

The prisoners seized control of the prison "while their brothers on the outside kill the main gate's guards by detonating a parked car bomb and cutting off all roads leading to the security compound against the support patrols," according to the SITE translation. The car bomb is thought to have been detonated by a suicide bomber.

After taking control of the prison, the al Qaeda fighters attacked the prison archives and destroyed "the data and database of the prisoners and those who are wanted," according to SITE. "Also, sensitive documents were taken and that which could benefit the apostates in pursuing the mujahideen was burned."

Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed that the operation resulted in "the death and injury of nearly 80 apostates," and the escape of "tens" of its fighters. News reports indicated that two Iraqi policemen, an Iraqi soldier, and 11 al Qaeda in Iraq fighters were killed during the fighting.

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