KABUL – Some Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners who are scheduled to be released from prison in Afghanistan say they will continue to carry out terrorist activities after they are set free.
Although the U.S. military has been denied permission to interview the prisoners, Fox News was given access to them at the National Directorate of Security jail in Kabul. Excerpts of interviews with the prisoners are being broadcast on Fox News Channel.
One prisoner said he was "very happy" that the Sept. 11 attacks occurred.
The Afghan government says it considers the prisoners to be "dangerous terrorists," but it is releasing them nonetheless.
Several of these prisoners -- many of whom are Pakistani -- told Fox News they were in Afghanistan to fight a jihad, or holy war, against Americans and will continue to fight once they have been released.
"I am very happy -- it is good that incident happened," he said. "Now [Americans] blame Muslims and Usama bin Laden. They did it themselves and now they blame us."
"If a Muslim brother of mine is in trouble, so we are in trouble," said another, stressing that the fighters will rise up against those who threaten them and their interpretation of the Quran.
And at least one prisoner said that although he is not a member of either Al Qaeda or the Taliban, religious leaders at mosques in Pakistan talk about the oppression of the Muslims by the United States.
The Afghan government will have no way to monitor the movement of these prisoners after they are released. The country's intelligence commander, Amrullah Saleh, could not give any assurances that the fighters will not participate in future attacks against the U.S. if and when they are released.
Asked why Afghanistan would release prisoners it considers dangerous, Saleh said simply that it is the policy decided by the cabinet of President Hamid Karzai.
He also said the Afghan government would not allow American authorities to interview the prisoners.
"To release them and to screen them or try them, these are questions directly … related to the head of the state," Saleh said. "He and his cabinet have the power to decide."