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July 31, 2013

Al-Qaida Leader Message Vows to Free Guantanamo Prisoners

The leader of al-Qaida appears to have condemned U.S. treatment of hunger-striking inmates at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and vowed that the terror network will "spare no efforts" to free them.

An audio message claiming to be from Ayman al-Zawahiri could not be independently confirmed. It was posted on an Islamist website Wednesday that is commonly used by al-Qaida terrorists.

The message says the prisoners' hunger strike "unmasks the true ugly face of America." It did not say how al-Qaida planned to free the prisoners.

The U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay holds 166 prisoners, many imprisoned in counter-terrorism operations after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. Several are on a hunger strike to protest against their indefinite detention, with some being force-fed.



Early Tuesday, Pakistani Taliban members broke 250 inmates out of a prison in the northwest city of Dera Ismail Khan. Last week, al-Qaida claimed responsibility for raids on two Iraqi jails. The group said they freed more than 500 inmates in the raid.