Terrorist training camp

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A terrorist training camp is a training camp with the purpose of teaching young people methods of terrorism. Terrorists and Terrorist trainees train there to launch attacks, ranging from suicide bombing practices to field combat. They are often located in regions for the aims of those conducting the training, or in traditional areas of extremism, like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.[1][2] Use of parks[3] and wilderness areas[4] is common.

Homegrown terrorists sometimes travel to these camps to receive training, as was the case with some of the London Underground bombers. Mohammad Sidique Khan, the operational leader of the cell, received military and explosives training at a camp in Malakand, Pakistan in July 2003 and later took Shezad Tanweer to Karachi, Pakistan, in late 2004 to February 2005 where they received training at Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.[5]

Military-like encampments that provide terrorist recruits with weapons training, protocol training, skilled veterans, and a secure geographic location for undetected operations from the outside world. Recruits are regularly made aware of the goals and beliefs of the organization.[6] Organizational leaders attempt to cleanse recruits from their outside social connections in order for the recruits to establish identity with the organization. This allows the organization to become the “family” of the recruit, and generate total loyalty to the organization’s goals. Religious principles are constantly pushed into them in order to reincorporate that the organization is embarking on these acts of destruction for the greater good.

Terrorist Recruits[edit]

Camp recruiters conduct extensive background checks for each recruit to ensure the security of their organization and locations. Considering the War on Terrorism from countries like the United States, recruiters are looking for students who match their beliefs and who can be trusted. Recruiters are typically looking for those who are dedicated to the organizations end goals, fit the model, and those who are to stay on task.

Psychological Traits[edit]

Depending on the type of organization, religion and “strength of faith” are often a key indicator of the recruit’s status in the organization. Those who are not willing to comply, even after the graduation of training, are often punished and sent back to camp to strengthen their religion for any acts of insubordination. Terrorist recruits are often tested on their knowledge of their religion and are questioned about their knowledge towards rival groups. Recruiters do this for verification that each recruit has the same beliefs, and to ensure organizational unification. Religious verification ensures each member is working towards simultaneous goals without any measure of disbelief.[7] Recruiters use they techniques to exploit or create mental trauma in order to produce a dissociate mindset in the recruit—a condition in which identity and the awareness of the recruit is reset.[7] Typical terrorist recruits are looking to join groups terrorist organizations because they are angry, alienated or disenfranchised, including characteristics of: believing that their current political involvement does not give them the power to effect real change, identifying with perceived victims of the social injustice they are fighting, feeling the need to take action rather than just talking about the problem, believing that engaging in violence against the state is not immoral, having friends or family sympathetic to the cause, believing that joining a movement offers social and psychological rewards such as adventure, camaraderie and a heightened sense of identity. Internet and cyber skills are also sought after as recruits must be knowledgeable in accessing the web in secrecy to spread the goals of the organization.

Example of Physical Demands[edit]

Most terrorist organizations incorporate guerrilla warfare. Terrorist recruits must be in good shape in order to withstand the constant challenges of this non-conventional battle tactic. From viewing the ISIS organization's workout video, terrorist leaders form their physical agendas based on cardiovascular exercise.[8] Their routines are very basic, including: Air squats, tumbling, jumping over smoke, crawling under wire, crouch-walking holding bricks, hand-walking on monkey bars, squats with tires, pushups with tires, marching with tires, crawling with tires, overhead squats with rifles, basic hand-to-hand combat and self-defense technique, and team log lifts. Terrorist recruits train in full uniform, and oftentimes with weapons in hand. Above all else, terrorist recruits need to be trained for survival as well as being able to perform with little to no nourishment. Recruits need to be able to withstand the elements of their nation. Recruits need to understand that failure is not an option; if success is not attained then they will not be pulled out action, there will be no rescue mission for them. When terrorists will accomplish the task for risk of punishment, reprimand, organization seclusion, or even disgrace to themselves and family.[9]


  1. ^ 4000 Britons trained at terror camps in Afghanistan: Paper The People's Daily, July 12, 2002.
  2. ^ Is Somalia next for 'war on terror'? BBC News. 7 June 2006.
  3. ^ http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1768396,001302420000.htm
  4. ^ CBS News May 26, 2004: U.S.: Cleric Eyed Ore. Terror Camp
  5. ^ Edward McLeskey, Diana McCord, and Jennifer Leetz, “Underlying Reasons for the Success and Failure of Terrorist Attacks.” (Arlington, VA: Homeland Security Institute, June 2007). Available online: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. , p. 33
  6. ^ Lihou Dr. Norman T. Lihou (25 January 2015). "Terrorist Indoctrination Turning People into Killers". LinkedIn. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  7. ^ a b DeAngelis, Tori (November 2009). "Understanding Terrorism". American Psychological Association. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  8. ^ Nolan, Hamilton (19 June 2014). "A Fitness Critique of the ISIS Terrorist Workout Video". Domesticity. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  9. ^ Forest, James (2006). Terrorist Training Centers Around the World. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Security International. pp. 296–309. 

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