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

This is the seventh segment in the series “The Terrorism Industry” by Sheikh Abu Ubaydah Abdallah al-Adam, who was until his death a prominent leader of Al-Qaeda responsible for its intelligence and security operations. The series was published by the Al-Fajr Media Institution, which is responsible for disseminating the written, audio and visual materials of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

Continuation – Security of Documents

Cards, ID cards and passports

Open members of the organization must carry with them their real and original ID cards while traveling. It is preferable that the individual not have a beard and that the photo on his ID card be without a beard as well, in order to not draw attention. In addition, the passport should be kept in a secret and secure place in order to prevent enemies from finding it.

For secret members, the situation is different: all of his documents – his cards, passport and ID card -must be fake but authentic-looking. And he must be very familiar with all of the details that appear on the documents in case he is stopped, investigated and questioned about his identity. In addition, a secret member must have more than one passport and more than one ID card so that even if one gets “burned” and blacklisted, he is still able to travel; however, he must not carry documents that indicate different identities at the same time. It is important to stress that the leadership is responsible for forging documents and individuals must not do so of their own volition. In addition, a forged document should not indicate that one is married since the photo of a woman covered in a burqa or a veil arouses immediate suspicion.

Notes about writing documents

  • One should prepare a catalogue containing the information held by the organization to be available for viewing if the original documents become lost.
  • Documents pertaining to a specific operation should be hidden in the location designated for the operation but in a concealed manner: under the floor, in bathroom cabinets, etc.
  • It is best to divide the information among several letters so that if one letter is leaked to the enemy it will not reveal all of the relevant information.
  • One should not address the recipient of the letter in a manner that exposes his organizational affiliation or that of the author.

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