Khaldan training camp

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Located in southeast Afghanistan near Khost, the Khaldan training camp was an al-Qaeda facility directed by Abu Zubaydah. Abu Zubaydah described his role there as in logistics, and not being a formal al-Qaeda member but knowing some of his students joined al-Qaeda.

Creation

The facility was created by bin Laden.It was established relatively early, and kept when bin Laden was invited to establish bases in Sudan. [1] In 1996, Islamic Jihad member Mahmoud Jaballah entered Canada and applied for refugee status, but came under Canadian intelligence monitoring. "A 2008 Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) report mentions details of phone calls Jaballah makes to high-ranking Islamic Jihad leaders as early as June 1996. Jaballah worked with "Ahmed Said al-Khadr, a founding al-Qaeda member living in Canada. Khadr had been arrested in Pakistan in 1995 for suspected involvement in an Islamic Jihad bombing there, but he was released several months later after pressure from the Canadian government. After returning to Canada, Khadr ran his own non-profit organization, Health and Education Projects International (HEPI), and allegedly used the money he raised to help fund the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan."

In 1997-1999, the CSIS and FBI cooperated in starting an investigation of Abdullah Almalki, a Canadian exporter originally from Syria. He worked with two brothers, Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi and Abdelrahman Elzahabi, who, in 1995, legally large numbers of portable radios to Pakistan. Units of the same type were recovered, by U.S. forces, after 9/11.

"Abdelrahman is working in New York City as a mechanic while Mohamad Kamal is working in Boston as a taxi driver. Three other taxi drivers at the same company are al-Qaeda operatives who knew each other and Mohamad Kamal in Afghanistan and he will later admit to being a sniper instructor at the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan in the early 1990s."

al-Hubayshi

In Washington Post interviews with Khalid al-Hubayshi, a prisoner released in 2006, al-Hubayshi, at Khaldan, “learned to fire anti-aircraft missiles, anti-aircraft machine guns, anti-tank weapons and rocket-propelled grenades and became an expert in explosives." [2]

These were basic tactical skills for an insurgent. As a 19-year-old student in Saudi Arabia, al-Hubayshi became aware of Bin Laden, in 1995, seemed to be helping other Muslims, something that would put meaning into al-Hubayshi's life. First, a taped sermon about waging war against enemies of Islam interested him, but of videotapes produced by Arabs fighting in Bosnia convinced him to take action.

By the time he could get there, the fighting in Bosnia was over. He then went to By the time he got in touch with the Arabs fighting in Bosnia, the war was over. He went to a camp, in the Philippines, for Arab fighters. "He said he slept well for the first time since seeing the Bosnia tapes...he soon felt restless and yearned for better training. His contacts arranged for him to go to Afghanistan, and in 1997 he went to Khaldan. in the southeastern city of Khost. By 1999, he found the war in Afghanistan was ethnic, not Muslim, and returned to Saudi Arabia. "I was not there . . . to help Afghans fighting Afghans for political gain" During his return, he was arrested by Pakistan, held two months, and then traveled back through Yemen to his home, using a fake passport.

When Saudi authorities sought him for questioning two years later, he avoided jail by returning to Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda, in May 2001. Since he had been away, according to the Post interview, "al-Qaeda's influence had spread and the organization had become more like a corporation, he said, with company cars and many safe houses. The Taliban, a radical Islamist militia that had taken control of most of the country by 1996, had also grown more powerful. Hubayshi became adept at making remote-controlled explosive devices triggered by cellphones and light switches. Impressed by his skills, an associate of bin Laden's asked him to join al-Qaeda, or at least meet with bin Laden, he said.

"In the summer of 2001, Hubayshi recalled, he spent half an hour with bin Laden at a converted military barracks near the city of Kandahar. According to Hubayshi, bin Laden had '...changed from defending Muslims to attacking the United States. I wasn't convinced of his ideology. And I wanted to be independent, not just another minion in this big group.'"

On 9/11 was training Chechen fighters in explosives in the eastern city of Jalalabad; when U.S. airstrikes hit Jalabad, the Afghans forced them out of the city. A bin Laden associate, several weeks later, recruited fighters for Tora Bora "In the trenches there, the fighters ate and slept and cleaned their weapons, surrounded by the distant sounds of bombardments. 'Bin Laden was convinced the Americans would come down and fight. We spent five weeks like that, manning our positions in case the Americans landed,' As the airstrikes moved closer, and with the United States' Afghan allies advancing, bin Laden decided to retreat and left one morning. His aides told 300 Arab fighters to make their way to Pakistan and surrender to their embassies. Pakistani authorities stopped the fighters near the border and handed them over to the U.S. military, which sent them to Guantanamo Bay.

Al Zubaydah's Combatant Status Review Tribunal

At a CSRT in 2007, Abu Zubaida was accused of heading Khaldan and Darunta training camps in Afghanistan and of co-ordinating their operation with Osama bin Laden, as well as moving money for al-Qaeda, desiring fraudulently-obtained Canadian passports for a terrorist plot, and making diary entries about planned attacks in the US. Z

He denied that he was an “enemy combatant,” saying that the Khaldan training camp, which he admits being logistics manager of, was around since the Soviet-Afghan War and was also used to train Muslims who wanted to fight invaders in Muslim lands, such as Chechnya, Kashmir, the Philippines, and Bosnia, where “America helped us.” He denied being an official member of al-Qaeda and says he disagrees with attacks on civilians. However, he admits some of his trainees subsequently decided to join al-Qaeda and that he did not prevent them from doing this.

Trainees

Omar al-Faruq, who is alleged to have been a key al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya liaison to Southeast Asian groups, trained there. In U.S. custody, he was reported to have worked with Hambali, Abu Zubaydah and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. [3] He later escaped from U.S. detention in Afghanistan in 2005, and was killed in Iraq in 2006. [4]

References