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Local Al-Qaeda Leader 'To Target Iraqi Legal System'

An Al-Qaeda group in Iraq has said it would begin targeting judges and prosecutors and would try to help its prisoners break out of Iraqi jails.

A message posted on various jihadist forums said the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) would seek to retake territory it ceded before the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from the country and appealed for Sunni tribes to provide support and send fighters.

The voice on the audio message -- purportedly that of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has been leader of ISI since May 2010 -- said the group is "starting a new stage."

It was not possible to verify whether the voice was that of the ISI leader.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is regarded by Iraqi officials as being significantly weaker now than it was at the peak of its strength in 2006-2007.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP