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Al-Qaida / Al-Qaeda Terrorist Training Camps

The al Qaeda training camps are an integral part of the terrorist organization. All 19 of the 9/11 hijackers, as well as the operatives in the Cole attacks and the African Embassy bombing attended Afghan training camps. The reciprocal relationship between al Qaeda and the camps was essential for the preservation of the organizatison: the camps provided the manpower for the terrorist activities, and the successfully executed attacks increased camp recruitment and enrollment numbers.

The training received at al Qaeda camps was geared towards a number of possible scenarios. Although most recruits received conventional warfare training, al Qaeda needed foot soldiers, heavy machinery operators, and individuals who could bomb embassies or hijack planes. Specfic terrorist training was given only to the top recruits that Bin Ladin personally evaluated.

The atmosphere of the camps encourged recruits to develop creative ways to create mass murder. The curriculum was based on the ideology that Israel and the United States were evil. Martyrdom was the most highly achieved state which encourged many recruits to volunteer to go on suicide missions.

The daily operations of the camps were based largely on the network of individuals who facilitated the transfer of individuals in and out of Afghanistan. There is speculation that both Iranian and Pakistani governments knew and disregarded the influx of al Qaeda operatives through their respective countries.

According to the Commission on Terrorist Attacks, as many as 20,000 individuals trained at Bin-Ladin supported camps throughout Afghanistan from May 1996 to September 11, 2001. However, out of this large number, only a select few went on to receive specialized terrorist training.



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