Faisal Shahzad, who unsuccessfully attempted a bomb attack on Times Square in New York, was trained in Pakistan. After this was found out, everyone turned their attention to the Taliban, al Qaida and their militant camps.
Pakistan and Afghanistan, which suffer the most from the clashes in the Middle East, share borders that are home to radical Muslim terrorists. The Christian Science Monitor discovered one of these camps, Sabila, in 2003.
The camp is 15 kilometers away from the Pakistan border, and the locals describe it as a little village where “[t]here are no children, no women, no relatives to celebrate Eid [the Islamic feast day] with.” Camp Sabila housed 300 militants for al Qaida in 2003, with high walls surrounding the village.
The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is 2,400 kilometers long, and both governments cannot control this region. The United States cannot launch attacks into this area, the aftermath of which could cause a lot of trouble for American, Afghan and Pakistani armies.
It’s Different Compared to the Past
In recent years, radical Islamist camps were known as a training ground to prepare militants to bomb places around the world. Nowadays, they don’t just train militants to bomb; they have developed a more sophisticated system for militants to follow. Foreign Policy magazine stated that al Qaida is passing control of the camps over to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Taiba, who were behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
These training camps are kept very small, usually with just a couple of houses. The size allows militants to change location quickly, avoiding satellites and spies. Today, it is believed that 40 camps exist in Pakistan.
A typical day at camps starts with a morning prayer and speeches about the importance of jihad. During the day, militants train and play sports. In the evening, the brainwashing starts. In these brainwashing sessions, militants watch videos about the West and how they brutally kill innocent Muslims around the world. This helps them to understand the reasoning behind and the importance of jihad against the West.
The Camps Cannot be Found
The TTP and other militant groups choose targets relatively close to the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, effectively blocking off the entrance of the camp to spies. This makes it harder for the United States to understand why terrorists like Shahzad, who are trained at these camps, are unsuccessful.
However, militants who are arrested provide Western intelligence agencies with much information to understand these camps.
After the failed attack on Times Square, CBS News stated that on May 4, the Pakistani police arrested Tauseef Ahmed, who met up with Shahzad two months before the failed attack. Ahmed stated that Shahzad was trained in Pakistan at one of these camps.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that the Taliban planned the bombing in retaliation to American drone attacks. He also stated that the Talian is not going to just sit there and watch its militants die.
Qureshi’s statement appears to be another headache for the United States, which is trying to oust the Taliban from Afghanistan. All the military attacks and diplomacy of the past nine years has not ended the war. Time is running out for America, and these militant camps are pushed against the wall.
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