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SITE Publications
A Video from al-Sahab Production of an Interview with Mujahid Farouq al-Iraqi, an Escapee from Bagram Prison in Afghanistan
By SITE Institute
March 9, 2006

A thirty-nine minute video interview with Farouq al-Iraqi, who is reported as Mehmood Ahmed Mohammed AKA Omar al-Faruq, an al-Qaeda lieutenant captured in Indonesia in 2002, was recently distributed amongst jihadist forums. Produced by al-Sahab, an al-Qaeda production company, the video shows al-Iraqi seated in a forest clearing, answering a battery of questions from an interviewer concerning Bagram prison, his escape, and messages he has for the mujahideen and Americans. Along with three other al-Qaeda prisoners at Bagram prison, including Abu Yehia al-Libi, Farouq al-Omar escaped from the prison in July 2005.

The video opens with a speech from Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, originally aired in February 2005, in which he speaks to the U.S. maltreatment of Muslim prisoners. The video continues with pictures of people taken prisoners by American soldiers, and a voice in the background explains that what happened in Guantanamo was not an isolated event, but happens in all American prisons: ?Mujahideen are exposed to the most abhorrent types of physical and spiritual torture?. The video proceeds to explain that despite the fact that US prisons are heavily guarded and fortified, ?four lions of the lions of Islam? managed to escape from the Bagram prison, among them ?the hero Farouq Al-Iraqi?. Before presenting the interview with al-Iraqi, the video summarizes his experiences, noting his arrest in Indonesia and his being branded as the head of al-Qaeda in East Asia.

Farouq al-Iraqi describes his incarceration in Bagram prison, calling it a variety of nicknames such as the ?prison of darkness,? ?prison of torture,? and ?prison of music,? elaborating upon the reason for such aliases. Concerning his arrest, he states: ?The reason for my arrest was that they accused me of being a Mujahid. Specifically, as I understood from several guards, it was because I carried a gun. That was the accusation?. He also notes that he heard of the additional accusation of him being the al-Qaeda leader in East Asia and being linked to the September 11th attacks in East Asia from CNN and other publications.

The interview continues as Farouq al-Iraq addresses words to the mujahideen to remain steadfast in their jihad, and to the Americans, stating the following: ?They will never manage to drive away the fire of Allah, blessed and almighty. They will never manage to stop the procession of Jihad… Neither the American barricades will stop it, nor its forces, nor its vehicles nor its developed machines…We will fight them in this country, in Iraq, everywhere, even in their own country, with the help of Allah, blessed and almighty. We pray that Allah, blessed and almighty, will give us victory over them in their country?.

The video, a summary, and a translation of selected excerpts are provided to our Intel Service members.

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