Some of those implicated officials included Abdel-Karim Fadhil, Al-Maliki’s senior security advisor, his brother and a nephew, all of whom allegedly helped the al-Qaeda terrorists escape in return for cash.
Also implicated in the Basra escape was Brigadier Ali Fadel Omran, a Baghdad military commander. Unfortunately, Omran was unavailable for comment on his purported role having fled the country days before the report’s release.
For Maliki, the disclosures come at a time when he has already been under mounting criticism for filling those ministries and top security posts with his corrupt cronies and supporters.
Unfortunately, helping terrorists out of jail hasn’t been solely an Iraqi problem. Throughout the Islamic world, incarcerated terrorists and militants have been breaking out of prisons in record numbers in 2011, often aided by corrupt government and prison officials.
For example, in January and February 2011 during the unrest in Egypt, thousands of prisoners escaped from Egyptian jails with, in many cases, overt assistance from Egyptian police and security forces. Many of the escapees were from Hamas and Hezbollah, including 22 Hezbollah terrorists who had been convicted of planning attacks on ships in the Suez Canal and on Egyptian and Israeli tourist sites.
In April 2011, in what Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted was an inside job, nearly 500 Taliban prisoners broke out of Afghanistan’s Sarposa prison through a 1200 foot tunnel that took five months to dig.
Finally, in June 2011 over 60 al-Qaeda insurgents, 57 of whom had been convicted of terrorism charges, escaped from a jail in southern Yemen. In a coordinated assault, gunmen attacked the prison from the outside just as the prisoners were about to flee in order to divert the guards’ attention from the escape.
Unfortunately for most Iraqis, the recent insurgent catch-and-release allegations come as al-Qaeda and other Iraqi militants are in the midst of a violent escalation of attacks, including bombings and assassinations on government and civilian targets.
In July 2011 alone, that campaign of violence produced the killing of 159 Iraqi civilians, 77 Iraqi police, and 44 Iraqi soldiers. Moreover, 199 civilians, 135 police officers and 119 soldiers were also wounded in those July attacks.
More importantly, June 2011 was reported as the deadliest month for US soldiers in Iraq in two years. During that time, 15 American soldiers were killed, 14 of them in combat. As the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen Jr., recently told Congress, “Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work…It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago.”
Unfortunately, with a growing number of re-circulated terrorists onto the landscape — aided by those in the Iraqi government — the danger promises to become only greater.
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