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Prominent Taliban Militant Appears In Video After Escape

Interview With Prominent Taliban Militant After His Escapei
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April 20, 2012
Adnan Rashid, a prominent Pakistani Taliban fighter sentenced to death, has appeared in a short video following his escape from prison. Rashid escaped along with nearly 400 other prisoners during a Taliban attack on the prison on April 15. The video was made available to RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal.

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Pakistani Prison Attack Raises Unsettling Questions

"Intelligence failure" is the most easily available excuse for the government in Pakistan following the daring Taliban jailbreak in the northern city of Bannu early on April 15.
By RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan -- A prominent Pakistani Taliban fighter has appeared in a video following his recent escape from prison.

Adnan Rashid escaped from jail in the northwestern town of Bannu along with some 400 other inmates during a Taliban attack on April 15.

Rashid is a former technician with the Pakistan Air Force who was sentenced to death in 2005 for being involved in a 2003 assassination attempt on former President Pervez Musharraf.

In the 22-second video, which was sent by the Taliban to RFE/RL’s correspondent in Dera Ismail Khan, a long-haired, bearded Rashid is sitting in the front seat of a car, smiling and answering questions posed by an unseen person.

Speaking in Pashto, Rashid says he is "fine" and that he has spent the last eight years and four months in prison.

In the exchange, Rashid confirms that he escaped when the prison was overrun on April 15, adding, "Thank God." He says he was sentenced to death for involvement in an attempt on Musharraf's life.

The Pakistani newspaper "Dawn" reported that Rashid insisted that he was innocent of the charges while in prison.

Many Unanswered Questions

The attack on the jail was carried out by militants armed with guns, grenades, and heavy weapons. Many of the nearly 400 prisoners who escaped were under death sentences.

In the aftermath, Pakistani officials suggested to RFE/RL that securing Rashid’s freedom was the driving motivation behind the attack.

An officer at the central jail who requested anonymity told "The Express Tribune" that militants who entered the jail demanded to know where Rashid's cell was.

A guard at the Bannu facility, Mer Laiq Khan, said the first attackers arrived "in two or three vehicles" and responded to gunfire from guards with hand grenades and a rocket launcher. The attackers surrounded the entire prison, he said.

Taliban spokesman Asim Mehsood told RFE/RL that the Taliban was responsible for the attack and that some 150 suicide bombers had participated.

According to the information minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Mia Iftikhar Hussain, investigators are looking into the possibility that the attackers had help from Pakistani officials.

"We are looking into the matter and investigating whether government officials were involved, why the security officials on duty could not handle the attackers, or why additional forces could not reach the prison in time," Hussain told RFE/RL. "These are all questions that will take time to answer."

Written by Heather Maher based on reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal
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Comment Sorting
by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 20, 2012 05:25
One can be sure that Adnan Rashid - as well as all other Taliban fighters that escaped from this prison in Pakistan - will be delighted to meet their old US and NATO friends stationed in Afghanistan very soon :-))).

by: charles from: texas
April 21, 2012 02:34
These guys expect them to protect their nuclear arsenal. It's just a matter of time before the taliban takes some of Pakistans nuclear weapons . Then I expect them to be used on foreigners . Allah akbar is the last thing we will hear.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 21, 2012 19:00
Charles, the most probable scenarion is that when Taliban will get close to taking power in Pakistan, the elite currently ruling the country will trasfer its nuclear arms to the People's Republic of China.
In Response

by: charles from: texas
April 22, 2012 14:24
Yea but the Taliban don't need to take over to get what they want . The Pakistan ISI is full of the taliban. They even said the prison had insiders working for taliban . All they need is good info on locating the bombs and let the suicide bombers do the rest. America wouldn't let Taliban take over the Pakistani government and they know it. If u look back in history most terror attacks originate from Pakistan. The Pakistan government is right along with taliban but they don't make it to obvious because of the consequences
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 23, 2012 10:04
Wait, Charles, you are saying: "All they need is good info on locating the bombs and let the suicide bombers do the rest". I have never heard of a suicide bomber detonate a binary nuclear device. Pakistani nuclear warheads are installed on long-range missiles, so just "locating the bombs" is not enough: in order to launch them you need to (a) have access to the launching system and (b) be able to operate it. I am not quite sure that everyone in the ISI has this level of access and this level of technical knowledge.

by: ahmed from: HP
April 22, 2012 04:13
Cyril Almedia writes in his article ( DAWN 22/4/2012) ;
" -----The remarkable thing about the Bannu prison break isn’t the juxtaposition of a well-trained force with a precise plan up against bumbling security forces but the juxtaposition of the commitment shown by both sides.
It seems a little absurd to amass so many men and put so many lives at risk to rescue a colleague who would probably happily blow himself up or pick up a gun and join a fire-fight in which death was a certainty.
But that’s precisely what the Taliban did to get Adnan Rasheed back.
The remarkable esprit de corps is what helps keep the Taliban going, and recruiting. They die on their terms, not waiting for the hangman’s noose in cages patrolled by the enemy. And whatever the cost, no one gets left behind.
The seductiveness of a Bannu-style raid as a rec-ruitment tool is almost frightening.---"

Who trains , funds and motivates the Taliban ??

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