Terrorist training camp

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A terrorist training camp is a training camp with the purpose of teaching people methods of terrorism. They are often located in regions where it is intended that the subsequent acts of terrorism will be carried out, or in traditional areas of extremism, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.[1][2] Use of parks[3] and wilderness areas[4] is common.

Terrorist recruits

Camp recruiters conduct extensive background checks for each recruit to ensure the security of their organization and locations.[citation needed] Recruiters typically look for those who are dedicated to the organization's end goals and share the organisation's beliefs.


Most camps are located in the Middle East, with the most infamous in Syria and the Arabian peninsula. Higher concentrations of camps are located in regions of conflict. The call to jihad has seen many Muslims enter such camps and US drone strikes have followed. Obama ordered 390 individual strikes during his term on high-value targets in the Arabian Peninsula.[5]


These military-like encampments provide terrorist recruits with weapons training, protocol training, interaction with skilled veterans, and a secure geographic location for operations. Recruits are regularly made aware of the goals and beliefs of the organization.[6] Organizational leaders attempt to isolate recruits from their outside social connections in order for the recruits to establish identity with the organization.[citation needed] This allows the organization to become the “family” of the recruit and generate loyalty to the organization’s goals.

Psychological traits

Depending on the type of organization, religion and “strength of faith” are often key indicators of the recruit’s status in the organization. Those who are not willing to comply, even after graduation from training, are often punished and sent back to camp to strengthen their religion.[citation needed] Terrorist recruits are often tested on their knowledge of their religion and are questioned about their knowledge of rival groups. Recruiters do this to verify that each recruit has the same beliefs, which ensures organizational unification. Religious verification ensures that each member is working towards mutual goals.[7]

Recruiters use techniques that exploit or create mental trauma in order to produce a dissociated mindset in recruits—a condition in which the identity and awareness of the recruit is reset.[7] Typical terrorist recruits are looking to join terrorist organizations because they are angry, alienated, or/or disenfranchised. Common thought processes include: believing that their current political involvement does not give them the power to effect real change; identifying with perceived victims of the perceived social injustice they are fighting; feeling the need to take action rather than only talking about the problem; believing that engaging in violence against the state is not immoral; having friends or family sympathetic to the cause; and believing that joining the 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 knowledgeable in accessing the web in secrecy can help to spread the goals of the organization.

Examples of physical demands

Many terrorist organizations incorporate guerrilla warfare. Terrorist recruits must be in good shape in order to withstand the constant challenges of this nonconventional battle tactic. A workout video from the ISIS organization shows that terrorist leaders form their physical agendas based on cardiovascular exercise.[8] Their routines are very basic. Terrorist recruits often train in full uniform, with weapons in hand. Above all else, terrorist recruits need to be able to survive in their environment with little to no nourishment. Recruits need to understand that failure is not an option; if success is not attained, they will not be pulled out of action or rescued. They will accomplish the task or risk 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. ^ "Obama's covert drone war in numbers: ten times more strikes than Bush". The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 2017-11-27. 
  6. ^ Lihou Dr. Norman T. Lihou (25 January 2015). "Terrorist Indoctrination Turning People into Killers". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on 2016-12-30. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  7. ^ a b DeAngelis, Tori (November 2009). "Understanding Terrorism". American Psychological Association. Archived from the original on 2010-01-09. 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. 

External links

  • New Terror Camp? an alleged Al Qaeda supporter claims that the group has built a major training facility inside Pakistan—and that recruits are being taught how to kill Americans.
  • ‘Terror camp in Balakot’, US agency tells court Dawn Pakistan, August 2, 2006
  • FBI identifies terror camp in Pakistan through satellite pictures Sridhar Krishnaswami, August 1, 2006
  • Mystery path from architect to terrorist Leonie Lamont, August 24, 2006
  • Muslim police officer investigated for terror Muslim officers may have attended a "terror camp linked to Al-Qaeda" in Pakistan.
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