Monday, November 09, 2009

For the Taliban/Al Qaeda smaller training camps

One of the features of the Al Qaeda / Taliban movement in Pakistan is its ability to produce recruits, most strikingly recruits for suicide bombing. Now we hear that the units of training are getting ever smaller, and thus less easily discovered and targeted.
Lolita Baldor of AP reports on the new trend [11/9/09; click on the title for a link; highlights follow below].

> Training camps are growing smaller and more mobile, inside small compounds.

> The trainers are from al-Qaida who take their instruction on the road.

> Altogether the trainers number between 100 and 200 "hard-core al-Qaida leaders and operatives" who filter in and out of these small bases near the border.

> They are even active in Punjab province, where some militant groups have stronger ties to the Pakistani government.

> Their agendas are not primarily to train insurgents but to train "terrorists for deployment to the west."

> Some madrassas are part of the insurgent network in the sense that they will pass on information to prospective participants: "People within those nonviolent organizations, he said, will say, "if you want to be violent, you have to leave us, but here's an address and a letter of introduction" for a recruiter from one of the militant groups."

> Perhaps as many as 100 to 150 westerners have gone to the Pakistan border region for terror training in the last year.

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