Islamic State ‘Khorasan province’ advertises training camp

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The Islami State’s “Khorasan province,” which is comprised of followers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, promoted yet another of its training camps in the region.

The Islamic State showcased the training of dozens of fighters from the “Abu Bakr al Siddiq Battalion,” according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated the video. The Abu Bakr al Siddiq Battalion has not been previously identified in the Afghan-Pakistan region.

The video was released today on social media sites associated with the Islamic State. In the video, dozens of fighters, all who are in uniform, conduct firearms drills and training, and are shown practicing clearing a building. At the end of the video, the fighters march an “apostate,” who is dressed in bright orange clothing, to a field and execute him by shooting him in the head.

The video is part of an effort to highlight the Islamic State’s training capabilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The last such video, released at the end of January, showcased the “Cubs of the Caliphate Camp,” which hosted a group of young and teen-aged boys.

There are thought to operate at least three other training facilities in the region. In October 2015, the jihadist group promoted the “Sheikh Abu Omar al Baghdadi camp” and the “Sheikh Abu Musab al Zarqawi camp.” The two facilities are named after the former leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the founder of al Qaeda in Iraq (the predecessor of the Islamic State), respectively. [For more information, see LWJ report, Islamic State promotes training camps in ‘Khorasan’.)

In August 2015, photos emerged purporting to show the “Shahid Hakeemullah Mehsud camp,” which is named after the last leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and is thought to be located somewhere in Pakistan’s tribal areas. This facility has yet to be officially confirmed by the jihadist group.

The Islamic State continues to fight an uphill battle to gain supporters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the main Taliban factions and al Qaeda still have the upper hand.

Screen shots from the Islamic State video:

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Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal.

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