UPDATE 5/1/12 9:25 PM: Here is an English translation of the below Arabic statement:
In a generous order comes from the Amir of the mujahidin in the Arabian Peninsula sheikh Abu Bassir Nasir Al-Wuhayshi Ansar Al-Sharia released 73 soldiers who were captured in the battle of “Cutting the Tail” in Dofas on 11 Rabī` Al-Ākhir 1433 A.H. corresponding 4 March 2012 without ransom.
This generous order comes from the Amir of the mujahidin in the Arabian Peninsula sheikh Abu Bassir Nasir Al-Wuhayshi as response for the intercession of some Ulema who came to the Emirate of Waqar in the Wilayah of Abyan – may Allah glorify it with Sharia – headed by sheikh Awad Ba’Najar one of most prominent Ulema of Yemen and human rights activists and a large number of the relatives of the captive soldiers and a gathering of the elders of the tribe and the attendance of the different media.
We confirm that the order of the release, amnesty and freeing the captive soldiers without ransom who declared their repentance from their support of the enemies of the Sharia came as a honor to the delegation and to proof their good intension despite the indifference of the Sana’a regime regarding them and its negligence to their file all the past period.
Those soldiers were captured and their hands were on the trigger after they destroyed Zinjibar with the barrage of the shells of their canons and rockets despite that we pardoned them while those oppressors in the prisons of the Political and National Security (…) no one of them was captured in the battle field but they were taken by force from between their children, mothers and their people for no crime or guilt, to spend after that long years in horrible political detentions that aren’t fit for humans to live in.
It has appeared to everyone – in the time when our brothers receive harm and scourge in the prisons of the Sana’a government – the good treatment of the mujahidin of their captives attested to by the human rights organizations and what was published by the international and local media, this is due that treating prisoners in a good way is a religious and ethical obligation which the mujahidin adhere to in all conditions.
We declare and repeat that we won’t abandon the cause of the oppressed prisoners in the jails of the Political and National Security who suffer the bitterness of captivity for years without any charge or guilt, we say to our brothers the captives in the prisons of Sana’a that we won’t cease from seeking to release you from captivity and spend in that the most dear to them, since your concern is our and your cause is our cause so have tidings of near relief Allah willing, we urge in this regard all who came to us from the members of the mediation delegations to take the initiative in seeking to release our imprisoned brothers from the prisons of the Sana’a regime.
In this occasion we address a message to the soldiers who are mislead in the army of the Sana’a regime and who has a remaining of magnanimity, jealousy, generosity and reason from the officers and leaders of the army we say to them:
“We declared to you repeatedly that our battle initially is with America and crusaders so don’t be tools in their hands to fight Islam and the Muslims and honorable Muslims and don’t make from yourselves embankment before the implementation of the Sharia.
You know that the blatant American interference have reached to controlling the arrangement of paying your salaries and arranging your movements and assigning your leaders by the American ambassador in Sana’a who is practicing the role of the de facto ruler of Yemen, it is not a secret on you the increase of the pace of the American aerial shelling in Yemen and intensively in the recent times.
O’ soldiers and officers this government that throws you in this losing war to satisfy the desires of America and its ambassador in Sana’a will never pay any attention to you and will continue to deal with you as cheap tools, and the issue of the 73 prisoners is the biggest proof on that, you are victims of the American policy and were pushed to a proxy war for the Zio-crusaders, so don’t lose your religion and Dunya for a cheap worldly gain”.
Finally to the honorable Ulema We repeat our call to you to visit our regions to contact, dialogue and advice in what is good for the land and people, we are sad that you didn’t answer our special calls that we issued to you to come to Waqar regarding the captive soldiers except sheikh Awad Ba’Najar may Allah preserve him and who came with him, and we remind you of your obligation in guiding the Ummah and advising it and seeking reform and change and support of the Islamic Sharia.
(and Allah is the master of His affair, but most people do not know)
Qaedat Al-Jihad Organization in the Arabian Peninsula
7 Jumada Al-Thani 1433 A.H.
Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: al-Qā’idah in the Arabian Peninsula — “On the Release of the 73 Soldiers from the Ṣana’ā’ Regime”