Khalden training camp

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The Khalden training camp (also transliterated as khaldan) was one of the oldest and most well-known military training camps in Afghanistan.[1] While some reporters repeat descriptions offered by US intelligence officials that the camp was an al-Qaeda training camp, other reporters note that the camp was set up during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, with the support of the Central Intelligence Agency.[2][3][4] Having attended one of these camps has triggered suspicion for many of the detainees in the War on Terror. The Khalden training camp was led by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, who was captured in late 2001.[5]

Ahmed Ressam, the Millennium Bomber, said he attended the camp using the alias "Nabil", beginning in April 1998 for five to six months.[6][7] He said Khalden Camp then generally hosted 50–100 trainees at any time, and he trained there in light weapons, handguns, small machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers (RPGs), explosives (including TNT, C4 plastic explosives, and black plastic explosives), poisons (including cyanide), poison gas, sabotage, target selection, urban warfare, tactics (including assassinations), and security.[6][7][8] Trainees were from Jordan, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Turkey, Sweden, Germany, and France.[6] During the time he was there, he met Zacarias Moussaoui.[7][8]

During the early years of the War in Afghanistan, the Bush administration described the Khalden Camp as an al-Qaeda training facility, an assertion used as evidence of an alleged connection to al-Qaeda for Abu Zubaydah and more than 50 other men held as enemy combatants at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[9] Since 2006, however, this allegation has been contested by the 9/11 Commission Report, Brynjar Lia, head of the international terrorism and global jihadism at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment; and unclassified records from the detainees' tribunal reviews (CSRT)s at Guantanamo.[9][10][11][12][13]

Zubaydah testified in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) that the Khalden Camp was at such odds with al-Qaeda and bin Laden that it was closed by the Taliban in 2000, at bin Laden's request.[9] This account was corroborated by two other detainees, Noor Uthman Muhammed, alleged by the U.S. Government to have been the emir, or leader, of the Khalden Camp; and Khalid Sulayman Jaydh Al Hubayshi, a close friend of Zubaydah.[10][11] In addition, Muhamed's charge sheet refers to the closing of the Khalden camp at the request of terrorist leaders.[14]

Brynjar Lia wrote in his 2008 book that an ideological conflict, between the leaders of the Khalden Camp and the Taliban and al-Qaeda, led to the closing of the Khalden Camp.[13] Zubaydah, Khalid Sulayman Jaydh Al Hubayshi, and Noor Uthman Muhammed confirmed this divide in their CSRT testimony.[9][10][11] Of the 57 detainees the U.S. Government claims are associated with the Khalden Camp, 27 have been released, including Zubaydah's friend Al Hubayshi.[15]

Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı which is the Turkish media arm of the Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party wrote a biography they wrote on one of their members, Garib (Asadullah) Turkistani in 1997who went to Pakistan, was tutored by Abdullah Azzam in religious learning in camp Khalden in order to join the Taliban because he wanted Shariah. He moved to Kabul to enlist in the Mujahideen. He came part of Liwa al Ansar and was injured in a car accident while fleeing the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. He died while fighting against American troops who they called “Crusaders”.[16]

The Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party's "Islamic Turkistan" magazine in its 5th edition published an obituary of its member Turghun (Ibn Umar al Turkistani) speaking of his time training at the Al Khaldan training camp and his meeting with Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. The Uyghurs in Afghanistan fought against the American bombing and the Northern Alliance after the September 11 2001 attacks. Ibn Umar died fighting against Americans at Qala-i-Jangi that month.[17][18][19]

Individuals alleged to have attended the Khalden training camp[edit]

Abdullah Khadr[20] ||

  • Says he only attended two weeks, when he was 13 years old
Abdurahman Khadr[21][22]
  • Attended when he was 11 years old, says there was "a lot of mental training".[23]
Ahmed Ajaj[24]
Ahmed Ressam[25]
  • LAX "millennium bomber". Admitted attending the camp beginning in April 1998 for five to six months, and says that he met Zacarias Moussaoui there.
Feroz Abbasi[26]
  • released in the UK
Gouled Hassan Dourad[27]
Ibrahim Elgabrowny[24]
Mahmoud Abouhalima[24]
  • participated in 1993 World Trade Center bombing
Majed Moqed[28]
  • 9-11 hijacker
Mohamed Rashid al-Owhali[26][29]
  • attended in 1997
  • participated in the bombings of US embassies in Africa
Mokhtar Belmokhtar[30]
  • Algerian terrorist, kidnapper, smuggler, and weapons dealer sentenced to death in absentia in his home country twice
  • Now heads the Al-Mulatahemeen ("Masked") Brigade (also known as the al-Mua'qi'oon Biddam ("Those who Sign with Blood") Brigade), which took hundreds of people hostage in the In Aménas hostage crisis in January 2013
Mushabib al-Hamlan[31][32]
  • Friend of the 9-11 hijackers.
  • Trained with 9-11 hijackers.
Omar al-Faruq[26]
  • trained in the early 1990s
  • a southeast Asian lieutenant
Rafiq Bin Bashir Bin Jalud Al Hami[33]
Ramzi Yousef[24]
  • participated in 1993 World Trade Center bombing
Richard Reid[26]
  • shoe bomber
Saajid Badat[26]
  • tried to be a shoe bomber
Satam al-Suqami[34]
  • 9-11 hijacker
Zacarias Moussaoui[35]
Mohammed Abd Al Al Qadir[36]
Khalid Sulaymanjaydh Al Habayshi[37]
Noor Uthman Muhammaed[38]
Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri[39]
Abdullah Ali Al Utaybi[40]
  • One of the allegations against Abdullah Ali Al Utaybi was: "Detainee may have trained at the al Qaida Khaldan Camp [sic]."
Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi[41]
  • One of the factors favoring Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi's continued detention was: "The detainee said he was provided with a letter of introduction for admission to the Khalden Training Camp. The detainee traveled to Afghanistan using a forged passport. The detainee traveled to Khost, Afghanistan via Switzerland, Islamabad, Pakistan and Jalalabad, Afghanistan."
Hisham Sliti[42]
Ahmed Hassan Jamil Suleyman[43]
  • One of the factors favoring Ahmed Hassan Jamil Suleyman's continued detention was: "The detainee was at Khalden Camp between May 1994 and 1999."
Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri[39]
Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy[44]
  • One of the factors considered for his continued detention was: "Detainee denies that he trained at the Khalden training camp."
Umar Abdullah Al Kunduzi[45]
  • One of the factors favoring the continued detention of Umar Abdullah Al Kunduzi was: "The detainee and others were led out of the Tora Bora region by the leader of the Khalden training camp, who has been linked to Usama Bin Laden, Abu Zubaydah and several other major al Qaida leaders."
Omar Nasiri[46][47]
Idris Ahmed Abdu Qader Idris[48]
  • One of the allegations against Idris Ahmed Abdu Qader Idris was: "The detainee ###############, voluntarily traveled from Italy to Afghanistan in May 1999 to attend the Khaldan training camp."
Abdul Rahman Mohamed Saleh Naser[49]
Lufti Bin Ali[50]
  • One of the factors favoring Lufti Bin Ali's continued detention was: "The detainee was identified by a senior al Qaida lieutenant as having studied at the Khaldan camp in 1998 or 1999."
Faiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari[51][52]
  • One of the allegations against Faiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari was: "The detainee later traveled into Afghanistan and received weapons training at the Khaldan training camp. Usama Bin Laden personally provided religious instruction and trainee [sic] at this camp."
  • One of the factors favoring Faiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari's continued detention was: "The detainee traveled to the Khalden training camp in Afghanistan where he received weapons training on the Kalashnikov, Dusaka (AKA Docka), Grinov, BKC automatic rifles, and RPG’s, and anti-aircraft guns. Usama Bin Laden provided religious instruction and gave advice and encouragement to the Jihadists."
Adil Charkaoui[53]
Raouf Hannachi[53]
  • Made the travel arrangements for Ahmed Ressam, the "millennium bomber", to receive training at the "Khaldun training camp".
  • Alleged to have received military training in Afghanistan himself.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Revealed: The CIA report used as pretext for Iraq invasion". Russia Today. 2015-03-20. Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2015-07-06. Al-Libi commanded the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan, shut down by the Taliban before 9/11 because he refused to subordinate to Osama bin Laden. 
  2. ^ Seth G. Jones (2012). Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393084023. Retrieved 2015-07-06. The guesthouses were used as temporary residences by foreign fighters on their way to -- or back from -- the Khaldan camp. Khaldan was not under the control of al Qa'ida, though Zubaydah knew many of the members. 
  3. ^ Kevin Ryan (2012-10-17). "Abu Zubaydah Poses a Real Threat to al-Qaeda". Foreign Policy Journal. Archived from the original on 2015-07-06. 
  4. ^ Son of Al Qaeda, Frontline (PBS)
  5. ^ The Terrorist Within, The Seattle Times
  6. ^ a b c "U.S. v. Haquari, Examination" (PDF). USDC SDNY. July 3, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (February 2, 2010). "U.S. v. Ressam" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 4, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Ressam Testimony in Mokhtar Haouari Trial". Southern District of New York. July 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Abu Zubaydah Unclassified Verbatim Combatant Status Review Tribunal Transcript" (PDF). Department of Defense. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-05-14. 
  10. ^ a b c Khalid Sulaymanjaydh Al Hubayshi Unclassified Verbatim Combatant Status Review Tribunal Transcript, pp. 65–73, Department of Defense Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ a b c Noor Uthamn Muhammed Unclassified Verbatim Combatant Status Review Tribunal, p. 15, Department of Defense
  12. ^ 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States Archived 2016-04-23 at the Wayback Machine., 22 July 2006
  13. ^ a b Brynjar Lia, Architect of Global Jihad: The Life of Al-Qaida Strategist Abu Mus'ab al-Suri pg. 242–243, Columbia University Press, 2008
  14. ^ "Noor Uthamn Muhammed Charge Sheets", Department of Defense Website
  15. ^ "New York Times Guantanamo Docket". Projects.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  16. ^ "Türkistan İslam Cemaati Mücahidi Şehit Esedullah Türkistan'ın Hayati". Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı. 
  17. ^ "(رحمه اللّٰه) صفحات من تاريخ بطل الشيخ الشهيد ابن عمر التركستاني" (PDF). تركستان الإسلامية. No. السنة الثاني العدد الخامس. January 2010. p. 10-13. 
  18. ^ "Türkistan İslam Cemaati Komutanı İbni Ömer et-Türkistani'nin Hayatı". Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı. 18 January 2016. 
  19. ^ Weiss, Caleb (12 Jan 2017). Twitter https://twitter.com/Weissenberg7/status/819676166353207296.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ 'I was never in al-Qaeda,' newly freed Khadr says: Released after 14 months in Pakistani jails, he calls himself an aspiring businessman, Globe and Mail, December 9, 2005[dead link]
  21. ^ Khadr clears Charkaoui, casts doubt on case, press release from Justice for Mohamed Harkat, July 14, 2004
  22. ^ Ordinary lad — or jihad conscript? mirrored Toronto Star, December 2, 2003
  23. ^ Testimony of Abdurahman Khadr as a witness in the trial against Charkaoui, July 13, 2004
  24. ^ a b c d Another Angle on al-Zawahiri's Call to Action, Stratfor, December 21, 2005
  25. ^ Going to Camp, Seattle Times, July 7, 2002
  26. ^ a b c d e The Khaldan Alumni (.pdf)[dead link], Toronto Star, December 9, 2005
  27. ^ "Biographies of High Value Terrorist Detainees Transferred to the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay" (PDF) (Press release). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. September 6, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 27, 2010. Retrieved December 16, 2006. 
  28. ^ National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States – notes to chapter 7, 9/11 Commission
  29. ^ Hijacking suspect 'was bin Laden bodyguard', The Guardian, September 30, 2001
  30. ^ Jacinto, Leela (27 September 2010). "Key figures in al Qaeda's North African branch" (PDF). CIMIC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  31. ^ World Trade Center and Pentagon Attacks, Global Security
  32. ^ 911 Commission: Notes to Chapter 7, 911 Commission
  33. ^ Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Rafiq Bin Bashir Bin Jalud Al Hami's Administrative Review Board hearing – page 151
  34. ^ National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States – notes to chapter 7, 911 commission
  35. ^ Indictment of ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI, US Department of Justice
  36. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Mohammed Abd Al Al Qadir Administrative Review Board – page 18
  37. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf) from Khalid Sulaymanjaydh Al Habayshi Combatant Status Review Tribunal – pages 65–70
  38. ^ Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Noor Uthman Muhammaed's Combatant Status Review Tribunal – October 19, 2004 page 264
  39. ^ a b Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri's Combatant Status Review Tribunal – October 21, 2004 page 148
  40. ^ Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Abdullah Ali Al Utaybi's Combatant Status Review Tribunal – September 28, 2004 page 237
  41. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi Administrative Review Board, May 4, 2005 – page 51
  42. ^ Summary of Evidence (.pdf) prepared for Hisham Sliti's Combatant Status Review Tribunals – November 19, 2004 – page 62
  43. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Ahmed Hassan Jamil Suleyman Administrative Review Board – page 45
  44. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy Administrative Review Board, May 2, 2005 – page 48
  45. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Umar Abdullah Al Kunduzi Administrative Review Board – pages 59–61
  46. ^ Reid Morden, Running with, and from, al-Qaeda, The Globe and Mail, November 25, 2006
  47. ^ Infiltrating Al-Qaeda: At a terrorist camp, a French spy meets the battling Khadr brothers, Macleans (magazine), November 27, 2006[dead link]
  48. ^ Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Idris Ahmed Abdu Qader Idris's Combatant Status Review Tribunal – September 30, 2004 page 246
  49. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Abdul Rahman Mohamed Saleh Naser Administrative Review Board May 18, 2005 – page 35
  50. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Lufti Bin Ali Administrative Review Board – page 19
  51. ^ documents (.pdf) from Faiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari's Combatant Status Review Tribunal
  52. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Faiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari Administrative Review Board – page 31
  53. ^ a b Dozens of Canadians join Jihad terror camps Immigrants recruited, RCMP says, Justice for Mohamed Harkat Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "JusticeHarkat" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).