Yemen

Al Qaeda Leader in Yemen Vows To Free Prisoners

Says "victory is imminent"

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The leader of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot vowed in a message posted Monday to free fellow militants from prisons and urged jailed fighters to remain faithful to the terror group's ideology.

The note by Nasser al-Wahishi, a onetime aide to Osama bin Laden, came after last week's closure of 19 U.S. diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa. The shutdowns were triggered by the interception of a secret message between al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri and al-Wahishi about plans for a major attack.

The message also followed an announcement by Yemeni authorities that they had discovered an al-Qaida plot to target foreign embassies in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and international shipping in the Red Sea.