Aceh Training Camp Detailed in Online Jihadist Video

Banda Aceh, TAG. In the remote jungle region of Jalin Jantho in Aceh Besar, dozens of armed young men are shown jogging in single file, shouting out praises to Allah and the Prophet Muhammad.

They are training in a clearing about the size of a football field that is surrounded by dozens of makeshift tents. The men are also seen rolling around on the ground, running through the forest, jumping hurdles, firing automatic rifles and handguns. They are wearing black outfits and training shoes. A flag is waving in the background, but the Arabic script on it is not clear enough to be read. 

The disturbing scenes are part of a 75-minute amateur video recording of what is believed to be a paramilitary training camp linked to an armed militant group based about 80 kilometers from Banda Aceh. 

The taped scenes, posted on a number of Jihadist Web sites last week, had been recorded by the Aceh-based group, which calls itself Tandzim Al Qoidah Indonesia Serambi Mekkah. 

Although the video was housed on the group’s encrypted Web site before it was blocked by the government, it was unclear how the video ended circulating on the broader Internet. 

Men were seen lying flat on their stomachs at a shooting range, firing at targets 100 meters away. Trainers were among the men, barking orders. 

The training appeared to focus on physical conditioning and developing their marksmanship. The men seemed familiar with their firearms, which they handled expertly. 

In other footage, men are seen cleaning guns, while others eating rice nearby. One of the men says, “How delicious is this rice,” in a thick Javanese accent.
Suddenly a trainer says: “Don’t be lazy, like those sleeping who are urinated upon by Satan.” 

Songs also accompany the training, some calling for the establishment of an Islamic state in Indonesia, others recalling the Acehnese struggle against the Dutch colonial forces at the turn of the 20th century. 

A preacher, most likely the group’s leader, sits among the men. He has an AK-47 assault rifle slung across his left shoulder. The man on his right is carrying an M-16 rifle, another has a gun resting in his lap. 

“Jihad,” the preacher says, “is every Muslim’s duty.” The accent is Javanese. Gunshots ring out in the background but the sermon continues. 

“We eat the heads of salted fish normally fed to chickens or cats. Here we are eating them as if it’s the finest of foods,” he says. “Soy sauce, never a luxury outside these woods, has become a necessity because without it, it would be hard for us to eat this hard rice.” 

The preacher is later heard calling on all members of regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah to repent. 

“The followers of Jemaah Islamiyah, wake up! Be honest! Do not shy away from joining us mujahedeen,” he calls out. 

Other scenes in the video include footage taken from a moving car. Upon exiting, a number of men are seen hiking through the dense forest and bathing in a pristine river. Their faces are blurred. 

The men then wade through the river, carrying AK-47s and M-16s and wearing backpacks. 

As they march through the woods, a man identified as Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Azzam is pictured in the corner of the screen delivering a sermon about the fundamental aspects of jihad. 

“Jihad is an obligation for Muslims to fight non-Muslims with both words and weapons.”[]
Aceh Training Camp Detailed in Online Jihadist Video Aceh Training Camp Detailed in Online Jihadist Video Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on March 12, 2010 Rating: 5

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