Derunta training camp

Derunta training camp
Surveillance photo of the Derunta training camp after U.S. bombardment.
Daruntah, Kabul, Peshawar, and some cities in Nangarhar, Afghanistan.

The Derunta training camp (also transliterated as Darunta) was one of the most well-known of many military training camps that have been alleged to have been affiliated with al Qaeda.[1]


Training with poisons

CNN published a story in which they claimed to have acquired videotapes showing al Qaeda experiments poisoning dogs with chemical weapons, at Derunta.[2]


The camp is reported to have been near Jalalabad. According to The Guardian, it was 15 miles from Jalalabad, just north of the village of Darūntah across the dam (coordinates: 34° 28' 44" North, 70° 21' 44" East).[3] According to a paper by Hekmat Karzai, published by the Pentagon the camp was really a complex of four camps, eight miles from Jalalabad.[4] Karzai wrote that the four camps were:

Abu Khabab camp
  • includes an explosives depot;
Assadalah Abdul Rahman camp
  • operated by Assadalah Abdul Rahman -- "the son of blind cleric Omar Abdel Rahman"
Hizbi Islami Camp
  • "operated by a group of Pakistani extremists fighting in Kashmir"
Taliban camp
  • "where religious militia were trained and indoctrinated to fight the Northern Alliance."

The CIA provided intelligence, pinpointing Osama bin Laden's presence, that enabled Northern Alliance allies to bombard him in at the Derunta camp in 1999.[5]

The documents from some Guantanamo captives, such as Abbas Habid Rumi Al Naely, state that the Khalden training camp was also located in Darwanta.[6]


Some sources claim the director of the camp was Midhat Mursi.[7]

Dispute over whether Derunta was an al Qaeda camp

During his Administrative Review Board Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy acknowledged attending the Derunta camp, but he disputed that it was affiliated with al-Qaeda.[8][9] He asserted that the Derunta camp was a non-al Qaeda camp, that dated back to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, that it was originally run by the Hezbi Islami, and that after his attendance there the Derunta camp was one of the many non-al Qaeda camps that the Taliban shut down at al Qaeda's request.

Other Guantanamo captives have reported that the similarly well-known Khalden training camp was not an al-Qaeda camp, and was shut down in 2000, at Osama bin Laden's request.

Alleged attendees

Individuals alleged to have attended the Derunta camp
Nabil Aukal[10]

Attended in 1997 with four other members of Hamas

Moazzam Begg
  • Alleged by DoD officials to have attended in 1998.[11]
  • Leaked files reveal that the DoD had secretly concluded Begg had been an instructor at Derunta.[12]
Menad Benchellali[13] Alleged to be a "chemical weapons" specialist
Abdul Haddi Bin Hadiddi[14] The detainee reportedly received military training on the use of light arms in the Derunta Camp in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri[15] Alleged to have attended both Khalden and Derunta.
Ahmed Ressam[16] The "millennium bomber"; admitted that he trained how to manufacture advanced explosives and make electronic circuits for six weeks at the camp.[17][18]
Hisham Sliti[19] Alleged to have attended both the Khalden training camp and Derunta.
Saed Khatem Al Malki

During his Administrative Review Board Saed Khatem Al Malki faced the allegations[20] a:

  • The detainee may have been involved in a November 1995 bomb attack on the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad. He then escaped to the Shamshad and Deruntah camps in Afghanistan the day of the attack.
  • The Deruntah training camp has a poisons course that lasts approximately two weeks and teaches students how to poison food and drinks.
Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy

During both his Combatant Status Review Tribunal and Administrative Review Board Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy faced the allegations[8][9]:

  • The Detainee is a Tunisian national who traveled to Italy then to Afghanistan where he received training at the Derunta military camp.
  • Derunta is an Al-Qaida military training camp.
  • The Detainee spent 28 days at the camp where he participated in Kalashnikov rifle, pistol, RPG, and grenade training.
Hisham Sliti
  • Hisham Sliti faced the allegation: "The detainee received training on the use of light arms at the Khaldan Camp near the Khowst [sic] Province , and the Derunta Camp in Jalalabad".[19]
Abdul Haddi Bin Hadiddi
  • Abdul Haddi Bin Hadiddi faced the allegation: "The detainee reportedly received military training on the use of light arms in the Derunta Camp in Jalalabad, Afghanistan."[14]
Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri
  • Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri faced the following allegations during his Administrative Review Board[21]:
    • The detainee received military training at the Derunta camp in Jalalabad, Afghanistan and Khaldan camp near Khowst, Afghanistan.
    • The detainee received training on light arms while at the camps.
    • Derunta was one of Usama bin Laden's [sic] most important bases in Afghanistan. The camp provided training in the use of explosives and toxic chemical usage. Derunta also contained several secondary bases belonging to Usama bin Laden.
Sada Jan


  1. ^ Elizabeth Van Wie Davis (2008-01). "Uyghur Muslim Ethnic Separatism in Xinjiang, China". Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. Retrieved 2010-03-21. "A January 2007 Chinese raid on a training camp in Xinjiang killed 18 terrorist suspects and one policeman. Seventeen more suspects were reported captured and explosives were seized. The raid was said to have provided new evidence of ties to “international terrorist forces.” The raid marks the latest clash between Uyghur Muslim separatists and Chinese security services, reflecting a limited challenge to China’s mainland stability. In Beijing’s view, however, instability in Xinjiang could also bring instability to Tibet, Inner Mongolia, and Taiwan. As with many of these disputes throughout Asia, the root causes of the problem are a complex mix of history, ethnicity, and religion, fueled by poverty, unemployment, social disparities, and political grievances." 
  2. ^ Disturbing scenes of death show capability with chemical gas, CNN, August 19, 2002
  3. ^ Al-Qaeda's trail of terror, The Guardian, November 18, 2001
  4. ^ Hekmat Karzai. "The return of the black turban: Causes of the Taliban resurgence". Institute Of Defence And Strategic Studies. p. 185. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  5. ^ Flawed Ally Was Hunt's Best Hope: Afghan Guerrilla, U.S. Shared Enemy, Washington Post, February 23, 2004
  6. ^ Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Abbas Habid Rumi Al Naely's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - October 25, 2004 - page 65
  7. ^ WANTED: Midhat Mursi al-Sayid 'Umar - Up to $5 Million Reward. Rewards for Justice
  8. ^ a b Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 34-42
  9. ^ a b Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy Administrative Review Board, May 2, 2005 - page 48
  10. ^ Moderately Deadly: Yassin’s long history of terror, National Review, March 26, 2004
  11. ^ Jihadist or Victim: Ex-Detainee Makes a Case, The New York Times, June 15, 2006
  12. ^ Guantánamo Bay files: Profiles of the 10 released British prisoners, Ian Cobain, The Guardian, April 25, 2011
  13. ^ An Al Qaeda 'Chemist' and the Quest for Ricin, Middle East Info, May 5, 2004
  14. ^ a b Summary of Evidence (.pdf) prepared for Abdul Haddi Bin Hadiddi's Combatant Status Review Tribunals - October 13, 2004 - page 53
  15. ^ Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - October 21, 2004 page 148
  16. ^ Al-Qaeda - a meaningless label, The Guardian, January 12, 2003
  17. ^ U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (February 2, 2010). "U.S. v. Ressam". Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Ressam Testimony in Mokhtar Haouari Trial". Southern District of New York. July 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Summary of Evidence (.pdf) prepared for Hisham Sliti's Combatant Status Review Tribunals - November 19, 2004 - page 62
  20. ^ Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Saed Khatem Al Malki's Administrative Review Board hearing - page 180
  21. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Riyad Bil Mohammed Tahir Nasseri Administrative Review Board, April 27, 2005 - page 5
  22. ^ Abuse testimony (.pdf), from Sada Jan's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - page 2

Coordinates: 34°28′44″N 70°21′44″E / 34.47889°N 70.36222°E / 34.47889; 70.36222

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