After losing key rounds in what some al-Qaeda operatives call the “intelligence war,” the terrorist network has introduced a new online course in operational security with material from an unusual source: Pakistan’s powerful spy service.
The Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate has long been accused of coddling militant groups, even while helping the CIA kill or capture dozens of senior al-Qaeda operatives including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Now al-Qaeda operatives can study directly from some of the ISI’s training manuals, according to a new report by Abdul Hameed Bakier at The Jamestown Foundation.
It’s not clear how the terrorist network got its hands on the documents, which were posted on jihadi Internet forums by al-Qaeda’s Global Islamic Media Front.
The course starts with an introduction to basic espionage terms, then moves into ways to screen potential mujaheddin members. They “should be Muslims, enjoy a certain degree of education and be religiously motivated and ‘non-mundane,’ ” according to the Jamestown synopsis. Subsequent classes deal with secure communications in the age of the Internet and mobile phones. (Bottom line: avoid them.)
There’s even an advanced course on “deep cover,” or the use of intricately fabricated false identities to penetrate the enemy. Most disconcerting of all, Jamestown notes, is that the courses were translated from Urdu to English “for the benefit of mujahideen in America and Europe ... an indication of where the mujahideen are planning their future terror attacks.”