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Top al-Qaida operative escapes from U.S. custody

From the Associated Press (via HoustonChronicle.com):
A man thought to be the top al-Qaida operative escaped from a U.S.-run detention facility in Afghanistan and cannot testify against the soldier who allegedly mistreated him, a defense lawyer said Tuesday.

Omar al-Farouq, considered Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant in Southeast Asia, escaped from a facility in Bagram, Afghanistan, on July 10, a Pentagon official confirmed Tuesday evening.

An Army lawyer for Sgt. Alan Driver, a reservist accused of abusing Bagram detainees, asked Tuesday where al-Farouq was and what the Army had done to find him in time for Driver's pretrial hearing.

Capt. John Parker, a prosecutor, said al-Farouq and three others escaped from the Bagram detention center and have not been found.

"If we find him ... we will make him available," Parker said.

> Read full story

Today's November 2nd. They escape happened July 10th. I wonder why it took so long to be come public. Seems fishy to me, and I'm not one who normally buys into conspiracy theories. However, it's interesting that right before another prisoner abuse case is to go to trial, a key witness disappears. Hmmm.

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