Al-Qaeda chief vows to free 'all our prisoners' from US jails
In a video, Zawahiri says there will be breakouts from US jails and Guantanamo
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has vowed to break out Muslim prisoners from US prisons and the heavily fortified compound for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The threat, issued on a video on Wednesday to retaliate for United States "crimes" against al-Qaeda warriors was probably inspired by recent attacks on prisons in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan that freed more than 2,000 detainees, many of them allied with the global terrorism network that has been headed by Zawahiri since the 2011 killing of its founder, Osama bin Laden.
But security at the crude prisons breached in the Middle East by al-Qaeda-aligned suicide bombers over the past week pales in comparison with the US detention sites' concentric rings of armed guards, concrete walls and electrified, wire-topped fences.
"America's tyranny, inflicted on the Muslims unjustly imprisoned for 13 years without charge, is a crime that has exposed the lie about freedom, human rights, democracy and people's rights that America claims," Zawahiri said in the video, carried by the France 24 network.
"We pledge God that we will spare no efforts to set them free, along with all our prisoners, on top of them Omar Abdel Rahman, Aafia Siddiqui, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and every oppressed Muslim everywhere," Zawahiri said in the video.
The authenticity of the video could not be confirmed, but it was posted on an Islamist website regularly used to spread al-Qaeda messages.
Zawahiri condemned the American military for force-feeding hunger-striking detainees at Guantanamo, where the nearly five-month protest against indefinite detention has eased during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Last month, 106 of the 168 prisoners were refusing food at the compound on the US base in southern Cuba.