Afghan training camp
An Afghan training camp is a camp or facility used for militant training located in Afghanistan. At the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Indian intelligence officials estimated that there were over 120 training camps operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, run by a variety of militant groups. Afghan training camps are not exclusive to any one group. Afghanistan is commonly used by groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
The documents show that the training camps were focused largely on creating an army to support the Taliban, which was waging a long ground war against the Northern Alliance. During the period of the Bush administration officials described the camps as factories churning out terrorists.
On July 25, 2007, scholars at the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy published a study that named over two dozen training camps allegedly attended by Guantanamo captives. Also, Afghan training cmaps are subject to a lot of rules and regulations. In the al-Qaeda document, Military Studies in the Jihad Against Tyrants, a series of rules for training camps were laid out.
Afghan training camps have also been functioning for decades. It is believed that several thousand camps were established throughout Afghanistan between the 1980-1989. These camps have historically not only provided militant and physical training but also an extensive training and devotion to Islamic history and faith.
Training was also originally provided by seasoned veterans of other armed forces around the world. For example, Osama Bin Laden once opened a camp for non-afghan fighters that was led by two former Egyptian servicemen.
While in attendance at these camps, the majority of the recruits’ work revolves around physical training and spiritual devotion. While physical training is important to some operations, theology seems to be the most important task during training. Recruits are asked to memorize sacred texts and engage in prayer throughout the day’s activities.
Recruits also learn to operate weapons, how to produce explosives and poisons, vehicle driving and maintenance, basic engineering, farming and urban guerilla tactics. In addition to these trainings recruits are also subject to mazes, obstacle courses, trenches, and classroom lectures.
Admission to camps
According to captured documents, there are guidelines that recruits must satisfy before entering the camp. First, trainees are screened. They are evaluated on ethnicity, their devotion, and their willingness to fight. One entrance form states that recruits must leave behind all valuables, not prepare food while in the camp, obey regulations, and certify that they are in good health for training. The entrance form also asks recruits about their prior military and combat experience.
Secrecy is of the utmost importance, so it is common for the recruits inside the camp to not to know fellow recruits’ or instructors’ names. In most cases, the recruits at these camps do not actually know the location of their camp. Trainees are also always kept in small groups of 7 to 10. Camps are also generally located in a desolate area, suitable for militant training, and physical training. One document also notes the camps usually have few entrances and exits.
Known locations of Afghan training camps
|Manogai Village Training Camp:||Witnesses say that recruiters are busy training recruits at these camps. People in both villages are outraged that the government has not done anything to take out these hubs of terror.|
|Pakash Village Training Camp:||Also in the same area as the Manogai Village and witness report seeing the same cavity in the area.|
|Hez-e Tahrir Camp:||Recruits were taught how to handle weapons, martial arts, as well as the English and Russian language.|
|Sar-e Pul Province Training Center:||Local officials are reporting that terrorist activities are going on by the Taliban terrorist groups. Officials are claiming that they have set up “major” training camps for suicide bombers and insurgents in the district. Also, spokesman Zabihullah Amani said that the insurgents have set up a sanctuary in the Kohestant district and are using religious schools as military training camps.|
|Khandar province Training Camps:||The Washington Post reported that a US operation found “probably the largest” al-Qaeda the Khandar Province. The operation found the camp that was said to be over 30 square miles along with another small camp that was about one square mile with the large one. The training camps were found in the Shorbak district, an area right along the Pakistan border. The special operation was said to take several days to take down the camp in 2015, and was also in coordination with the Afghanistan military forces.|
|Al Ghuraba Camp:
AL Jihad Camp:
Saman Khaela Camp:
|All reported major camps in Afghanistan that was said to be attended by Guantanamo Bay detainees from a document form the Assessment of 516 detainees from the Combat Status Review Tribunal.|
Bindra, Satinder (2001-09-19). "India identifies terrorist training camps". CNN. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07.
Sources told CNN that more than 120 camps are operating in the two countries.
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