Middle East Jailbreaks Connected to Embassy Security Threat
The massive jailbreaks in Iraq, Libya, and Pakistan are linked to the travel advisory sent out by the United States and United Kingdom. Interpol is asking countries to investigate any connections between the breaks.
Two hundred and forty eight prisoners escaped in Pakistan, 30 of whom were jailed because of their involvement in serious attacks. Hundreds of al-Qaeda members escaped from two prisons in Iraq on July 22 and 1,200 escaped from a Benghazi prison just five days later.
"With suspected al-Qaeda involvement in several of the breakouts which led to the escape of hundreds of terrorists and other criminals, the Interpol alert requests the organisation's 190 member countries' assistance in order to determine whether any of these recent events are coordinated or linked," the French-based agency says.
It also calls for Interpol to be informed "if any escaped terrorist is located or intelligence developed which could help prevent another terrorist attack".
The United States State Department said the Middle East and North Africa are the main points of concern. The State Department intercepted communications between senior level al-Qaeda figures and decided to issue a travel advisory. This advisory expires on August 31.
"Current information suggests that al-Qaeda and affiliated organisations [sic] continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August," the statement said.
On Sunday, the US will close many embassies will close embassies in the areas and the UK will close their embassy in Yemen. Next month is the one year anniversary of the deadly attack on the Benghazi embassy, which left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. He is the first dead ambassador in 30 years.