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“The Terrorism Industry”: An Al-Qaeda Course in Security and Intelligence – Part One

Part One of the course opens with praise for the martyr [shahid] Abu Dajaneh al-Kharasani, who carried out a suicide attack at the Chapman Military Base – CIA headquarters near Khost, in eastern Afghanistan – on September 30, 2009, killing seven CIA officers and one Jordanian intelligence officer. One of the worst attacks ever suffered by the CIA, it was very sophisticated and complex to carry out from the standpoint of security and intelligence, and required the attacker to employ both deception and advanced breaking and entering skills. The success of the attack was also ascribed to Himam Khalil al-Balawi and those members of Al-Qaeda who provided logistical support. The attack was meant as retaliation for the mass killing of mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and for Israeli aggression against Muslims in the Gaza Strip (al-Adam is apparently referring to Operation Cast Lead, which took place contemporaneously). The attack sent a message to the CIA and Jordanian intelligence: The arm of the mujhaideen is long, and can reach even the most carefully-guarded sites.

Jihad and martyrdom for Allah are paramount; indeed, they are the focus of the majority of mujahideen. However, one should remember that the ultimate goal is to follow and spread the commandments of Allah; one should strive not only to die as a martyr, but also to strengthen Islam to the utmost. In discussing suicide attacks, many sheikhs insist that the mujahid must accomplish certain things before martyring himself for Allah: The most must be made of a brother’s abilities before his death, especially as mujahideen who are committed to Islam and to Allah’s commandments are currently in short supply. The mujahid must therefore always be thinking how best to serve Islam.
The goal of this course is to help the mujahideen stay alive and out of infidel jails, so that they can fulfill their purpose. In addition, the course is meant to help mujahideen in various theaters of jihad to fight the enemy as effectively as possible.

In guerilla warfare, and especially during the first phase of fighting, the brothers must be careful lest the enemy identify them. Their motto must be to “fight to stay alive”, for guerilla fighters are always in the minority, with the enemy outflanking them in numbers and might. Initially, it is crucial to stay alive so that jihad may continue and not abate. Consequently, this course has two mutually supportive goals: to teach the brothers how to stay alive, and to teach them how to approach the enemy by stealth, and thereby incur the smallest possible number of losses. The course is based in part on the teachings of Sheikh Saif al-Adel, formerly with the Egyptian Army and currently a leader of Al-Qaeda. According to the Americans, his article “Security and Intelligence” has served as a military training manual for the mujahideen. Security is of fundamental importance to Islamist groups; a lack of security has often affected these groups’ functioning, and caused them to suffer heavy losses. Maintaining security is therefore crucial to the persistence of jihad and the integrity of the jihadist group.

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