by Florian Flade
On April 14 2012 a group of about 150 Islamists fighters attacked the Bannu prison in the Southern District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In total 384 prisoners were able to escape during this operation. One of them is Adnan Rasheed. The high-profile terrorist was imprisoned for eight years because of his involvement in an assassination attempt targeting former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
Rasheed was a former member (joined in 1997 as a junior technician) of Pakistan´s Air Force and had joined Islamist militancy while still serving in the military. In December 2003 several terrorists including Adnan Rasheed planted explosive devices under a bridge Musharraf´s convoy was passing regularly. The plot was foiled. Rasheed was arrested in Balochistan Province for his involvement in the terror plot.
After eight years in prison Adnan Rasheed is now a free man roaming the tribal region of Waziristan. Fighters of the Tehrik e-Taliban (TTP) and the „Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan“ (IMU) attacked the Bannu prison in a suprise assault operation and freed him. Eight months prior to the raid Adnan Rasheed had been moved from Kohat to Bannu.
A new German-language propaganda video released by the IMU´s media wing „Jundullah Studio“ lengthly features Adnan Rasheed speaking in English about his time in prison and the night he was freed by fellow Jihadists.
„I saw my release in a dream about 20 days ago before the operation“, Rasheed says in the video, „I saw in the dream that some Uzbek mujaheddin will come and will take me out of the prison.“
The terrorist also says: „My only sin was nothing but Jihad. Jihad against the Murtadin regime of Pakistan.“
When Rasheed escaped Bannu prison Pakistan´s Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik suspected the attackers had inside knowledge of the prison. He said it was likely the whole operation was conducted with the aim of freeing Adnan Rasheed.
„We will find out about who had kept Adnan Rashid in Bannu jail“, Malik said.
According to the German IMU member Yassin Chouka aka „Abu Ibrahim al-Almani“ the imprisoned top-terrorist Rasheed had sent a letter to the mujahidin in which he wrote about his situation and the Jihad in Pakistan.