Al Qaeda continues to build its network and infrastructure in Afghanistan after the fall of the Afghan government. Al Qaeda opened eight new training camps, five madrasas, a weapons depot and safe houses in Afghanistan that are used to facilitate the movement of its members to and from Iran.
Al Qaeda has established training camps in five Afghan provinces, as well as safe houses and a media center. The Taliban-Al Qaeda relationship is strong. Al Qaeda most certainly has not declined, nor has it been decimated or defeated.
The Taliban previously stated that the Abu Ubaidah Ibn Jarrah Training Center was located in Badakhshan province. Members of the Turkistan Islamic Party have trained at a Taliban camp in the province.
The Taliban again highlighted the Red Unit, the group’s special operations unit that spearheads its assaults throughout Afghanistan.
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 Mahmud Ghaznawi Military Camp. was previously identified by the Taliban as a training center for its “commandos.”
The IJU joins a list of jihadist groups that have publicized its training camps inside Afghanistan, including the Taliban, the Turkistan Islamic Party, and the Imam Bukhari Jamaat.
training camp joins similar training camps in Afghanistan advertised by the Taliban, the Turkistan Islamic Party, Imam Bukhari Jamaat, Harakat-ul-Mujahideen and others.
The “Sheikh Jalaluddin training camp” is named after the Khorasan Province’s former mufti, or senior religious and legal scholar, who was killed by the US in an airstrike in Nangarhar in October. The Islamic State has advertised three training facilities in Afghanistan in the past two months.
The Turkistan Islamic Party continues to highlight children in jihadist training. It is known to operate training camps for minors in both Syria and in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
While the Islamic State gets most of the attention for the training camps it runs for children, it is not the only jihadist group in Syria that does so.
The Long War Journal has identified 117 training camps run by jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria. Almost half are operated by the Islamic State, while the other half are administered by the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and its allies. Some facilities are no longer operational, while other camps likely exist, but are not publicized by the jihadists.
New camps belonging to the Islamic State, the Al Nusrah Front, the Chechen Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, the Syrian Harakat Fajr al Sham al Islamiya, the Uzbek group Imam Bukhari Jamaat, and Jaish al Islam have been identified.
Harakat Sham al Islam, a Moroccan-founded group allied to al Qaeda and the Chechen-led Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, is now known to operate a training camp in Latakia province in Syria.
The Islamic State, the Al Nusrah Front, the Islamic Front, and Junud al Sham have been showcasing camps in Iraq and Syria that are used to indoctrinate and train children to wage jihad.