Finding Taliban training camps in Pakistan

The Wall Street Journal has found one. It is too bad Pakistan can't.


Their day starts at 4 a.m. with prayers, followed by a six-mile run along the riverbed, swimming where some water remains, and weapons training. "One has to go through this rigor to prepare for the tough life as a fighter," said a 27-year-old who introduced himself as Omar Abdullah. He says he fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan before returning home to Pakistan a few weeks ago to organize training for new recruits.

The camp is just a few miles from Peshawar, the regional capital of Pakistan's conservative tribal belt. The existence of the camp and dozens like it is a major reason why the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, just across the border, is foundering. Pakistan's military is struggling to locate the camps and eradicate them, in part because many locals are sympathetic to the jihadis.

This camp, protected by a low hill, has no formal or permanent structure. The boys live in a nearby village. "The villagers look after us," said Mr. Abdullah, a lean man with a sparse beard and a Kalashnikov rifle. Finding the camp requires an armed escort on a 20-minute walk from the village along a muddy track.

The camp is under the control of Haji Namdar, a top Taliban commander based in the Khyber agency, one of seven tribal regions known as the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies. Western diplomats and Pakistani security officials say hundreds of Pakistani Islamist volunteers trained in these camps are now involved in fighting in Afghanistan.


So does anyone in Pakistan read the Wall Street Journal? Are they willing to shut down this camp? It is time they did something about it.


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