Archive for Thursday, August 22, 2002

Latest CNN tape shows al-Qaida combat training

August 22, 2002

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— Al-Qaida recruits blew up mock buildings and bridges and practiced taking hostages at gunpoint in a training film videotaped by Osama bin Laden's forces and aired Wednesday by CNN.

The broadcast was the third installment in a series of videotapes the network said came from a cache of 64 al-Qaida tapes taken from Afghanistan. CNN said Tuesday that it paid $30,000 for the footage.

Trainees take part in mock terror attacks in this undated videotape
made by al-Qaida and aired Wednesday by CNN. Dozens of men wearing
battle uniforms, combat helmets and scarves on their faces blew up
buildings and bridges, took hostages at gunpoint and carried out
assassinations in the footage.

Trainees take part in mock terror attacks in this undated videotape made by al-Qaida and aired Wednesday by CNN. Dozens of men wearing battle uniforms, combat helmets and scarves on their faces blew up buildings and bridges, took hostages at gunpoint and carried out assassinations in the footage.

In the latest report, al-Qaida recruits were seen conducting training exercises in a camp in eastern Afghanistan that CNN described as a "Western city replicated in canvas and stone."

Trainees blow up a mock bridge and fired machine guns through the doors of huts constructed of stone and wood. In another segment, motorcycle-riding men wearing camouflage clothing and black scarves on their faces roared up beside two white sport utility vehicles, cut them off, yanked open their doors and seized hostages.

Later, al-Qaida fighters were seen firing automatic weapons and rappelling down the side of a cliff.

Others crawled on their stomachs through the dirt, communicating with hand-held radios. The footage also included instruction on how to fire a surface-to-air missile and apparently was meant to be distributed to terror recruits, the network said.

The training reflects techniques presented in training manuals found in al-Qaida camps that were abandoned when bin Laden's Taliban allies collapsed under relentless U.S. bombing last year.

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