By Bill Roggio
February 2, 2018
The Afghan Taliban publicized its Abu Bakr Siddique Camp, a facility that trains fighters to battle Afghan and Coalition forces in Afghanistan.
A 19:55 long video of the Abu Bakr Siddique Camp was released on Jan. 30 by the Taliban on its propaganda website, Voice of Jihad. The footage is similar to other Taliban videos of its training facilities. Taliban fighters are shown marching in formation, training with weapons, navigating fiery obstacle courses, and conducting operations in vehicles.
At the end of the video, the Taliban fighters are shown during a night-time operation. The manoeuvres were captured through a night vision device. The Taliban fighters are using US-made weapons, including M4 assault rifles.
In other clips, the Taliban are parading around with a number of captured Afghan police Ford Ranger pickup trucks. The police trucks were supplied to the Afghan police by the US military.
The Abu Bakr Siddique Camp was previously promoted by the Taliban in June 2017, however it was called the “Abu Bakr Saddiq Camp.” The location of this camp has not been disclosed.
Jihadist Training Camps In Afghanistan
The Taliban has publicly flaunted at least 17 of its training camps since the end of 2014. In late 2015, the Taliban announced that its Khalid bin Walid Camp operated 12 satellite facilities throughout Afghanistan, and had the capacity to “train up to 2,000 recruits at a single time.” Additionally, it said the Khalid bin Walid Camp “trains recruits in eight provinces (Helmand, Kandahar, Ghazni, Ghor, Saripul, Faryab, Farah and Maidan Wardak) and “has around 300 military trainers and scholars.”
Other jihadist groups, including al Qaeda, are known to operate camps inside Afghanistan. In 2015, the US raided an al Qaeda camp in Bermal district in Paktika, and two others in the Shorabak district in Kandahar province. The outgoing commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, said that one of the camps in Shorabak was the largest in Afghanistan since the US invaded in 2001. Al Qaeda has also operated camps in Kunar and Nuristan.
Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistani jihadist group that is closely allied with al Qaeda, “operates terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan,” the US government stated in 2014. The Turkistan Islamic Party, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Imam Bukhari Jamaat, an Uzbek jihadist group that operates in both Syria and Afghanistan, have all claimed to operate camps inside Afghanistan. Coalition forces have also raided Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan suicide training camps in Samagan and Sar-i-Pul.
The #Taliban are using captured US-supplied Afghan National Police Ford Ranger pickup trucks in training. Can count at least 8 together in one scene. From the group's video of the Abu Bakr Siddique Camp.
Taliban fighters practice in the snow with US-made weapons that very likely were seized from Afghan security forces. Footage from the group's Abu Bakr Siddique Camp.
Taliban fighters march in the open, exercise, practice martial arts, etc. with flags, vehicles in full display. More footage of Abu Bakr Siddique Camp.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.