Taliban touts training camps ‘still going on’ that prepare fighters for ‘war’

Taliban fighters at the Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah Training Camp. Source: Voice of Jihad.

As U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls for the Taliban to honor a non-existent commitment to “reduce violence,” the Taliban continues to train for war. The Taliban has publicized the training of its fighters at three separate camps over the past five days.

Photographs from the training camps, know as Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, and Abu Dardaa, were published on the Arabic and Pashto language versions of Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official website.

The Taliban has not disclosed the locations of the Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah and Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq camps, however, the location of both should be relatively easy to discern by U.S. and Afghan intelligence services. The Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah camp is situated in a fixed location, with buildings. The mountainous terrain and vegetation should help locate the Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq camp.

The Taliban explicitly stated that the Abu Dardaa Training Camp is located in the province of Faryab.

Wearing new uniforms, the Taliban fighters were shown in various levels of training.

“The Mujahideen were trained with light and heavy weapons, combat skills and military tactics, and camp officials said that the chain of training of the Mujahideen will continue,” noted the statement promoting the Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq camp.

“The Mujahideen trained all types of heavy and light weapons, and learned military tactics and war planning,” the statement accompanying the Abu Dardaa camp said.

According to the Taliban, the “Islamic Emirate has many training centers throughout the country, which has increased the graduation rate of the mujahideen in this country.”

The “training of the mujahideen is still going on and many other mujahideen are also being trained.”

The Taliban has issued a steady stream of propaganda since 2014 that has highlighted training at its more than 20 camps. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Taliban promotes ‘mujahideen’ graduates from one of its military training camps.]

The Taliban is also known to share its training facilities with foreign jihadist groups, such as the Turkistan Islamic PartyAl Qaeda, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Harakat-ul-Mujahideen are also known to operate training camps inside Afghanistan. These groups could not operate training facilities without the explicit approval and support from the Taliban’s leadership and local units.

Photographs from the Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah Training Camp:

Photographs from the Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Training Camp:

Photographs from the Abu Dardaa Training Camp:

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

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