Khalden training camp
The Khalden training camp (also transliterated as khaldan) was one of the oldest and most well-known military training camps in Afghanistan. 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. Having attended one of these camps has triggered suspicion on 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.
Ahmed Ressam, the Millennium Bomber, said he attended the camp using the alias "Nabil", beginning in April 1998 for five to six months. 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. Trainees were from Jordan, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Turkey, Sweden, Germany, and France. During the time he was there, he met Zacarias Moussaoui.
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. 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.
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. 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. In addition, Muhamed's charge sheet refers to the closing of the Khalden camp at the request of terrorist leaders.
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. Zubaydah, Khalid Sulayman Jaydh Al Hubayshi, and Noor Uthman Muhammed confirmed this divide in their CSRT testimony. 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.
Individuals alleged to have attended the Khalden training camp
|Gouled Hassan Dourad||
|Mohamed Rashid al-Owhali||
|Rafiq Bin Bashir Bin Jalud Al Hami|
|Mohammed Abd Al Al Qadir||
|Khalid Sulaymanjaydh Al Habayshi||
|Noor Uthman Muhammaed||
|Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri|
|Abdullah Ali Al Utaybi|
|Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi||
|Ahmed Hassan Jamil Suleyman||
|Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri|
|Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy||
|Umar Abdullah Al Kunduzi|
|Idris Ahmed Abdu Qader Idris|
|Abdul Rahman Mohamed Saleh Naser|
|Lufti Bin Ali||
|Faiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari||
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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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- "Ressam Testimony in Mokhtar Haouari Trial". Southern District of New York. July 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
- "Abu Zubaydah Unclassified Verbatim Combatant Status Review Tribunal Transcript" (PDF). Department of Defense. 2007.
- Khalid Sulaymanjaydh Al Hubayshi Unclassified Verbatim Combatant Status Review Tribunal Transcript, pp. 65–73, Department of Defense[dead link]
- Noor Uthamn Muhammed Unclassified Verbatim Combatant Status Review Tribunal, p. 15, Department of Defense
- 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 22 July 2006
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- Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Mohammed Abd Al Al Qadir Administrative Review Board – page 18
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- Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Noor Uthman Muhammaed's Combatant Status Review Tribunal – October 19, 2004 page 264
- Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri's Combatant Status Review Tribunal – October 21, 2004 page 148
- Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Abdullah Ali Al Utaybi's Combatant Status Review Tribunal – September 28, 2004 page 237
- Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi Administrative Review Board, May 4, 2005 – page 51
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- Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy Administrative Review Board, May 2, 2005 – page 48
- Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Umar Abdullah Al Kunduzi Administrative Review Board – pages 59–61
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- Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Abdul Rahman Mohamed Saleh Naser Administrative Review Board May 18, 2005 – page 35
- Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Lufti Bin Ali Administrative Review Board – page 19
- documents (.pdf) from Faiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari's Combatant Status Review Tribunal
- Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Faiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari Administrative Review Board – page 31
- Dozens of Canadians join Jihad terror camps Immigrants recruited, RCMP says, Justice for Mohamed Harkat