Iran Focus: London, Feb. 27 Iran Focus has obtained a list of 20 terrorist camps and centres run by Irans Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Iran Focus
London, Feb. 27 Iran Focus has obtained a list of 20 terrorist camps and centres run by Irans Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
The names and details of the training centres were provided by a defector from the IRGC, who has recently left Iran and now lives in hiding in a neighbouring country. Iran Focus agreed to keep his identity secret for obvious security reasons.
The former IRGC officer said the camps and the training centres were under the control of the IRGCs elite Qods Force, the extra-territorial arm of the Revolutionary Guards.
The Qods Force has an extensive network that uses the facilities of Iranian embassies or cultural and economic missions or a number of religious institutions such as the Islamic Communications and Culture Organisation to recruit radical Islamists in Muslim countries or among the Muslims living in the West. After going through preliminary training and security checks in those countries, the recruits are then sent to Iran via third countries and end up in one of the Qods Force training camps, the officer said.
The Imam Ali Garrison has been a long-time training ground for foreign terrorist operatives. Presently, some 50 Islamists from neighbouring Arab countries are receiving training there in five groups of 10, the officer said.
Iraq followed by the Palestinian territories have become the focal point of the Qods Forces activities. Many of the foreign recruits in these camps now come from these two areas, but others come from a wide range of countries, including the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, North Africa and south-east Asia, he said. In most camps, the Sunnis outnumber the Shiites.
The scale and breadth of Qods Force operations in Iraq are far beyond what we did even during the war with Saddam, the officer said, referring to the IRGCs extensive activities in Iraq during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Vast areas of Iraq are under the virtual control of the Qods Force through its Iraqi surrogates. It uses a vast array of charities, companies and other fronts to conduct its activities across Iraq.
We would send our officers into Iraq to operate for months under the cover of a construction company, he said. Kawthar Company operated in Najaf last year to carry out construction work in the area around Imam Ali Shrine, but it was in fact a front company for the Qods Force. Qods officers, disguised as company employees, established contacts with Iraqi operatives and organised underground cells in southern Iraq.
The officer said Qods Force officers also used the Iranian Red Crescent and the state-run television and radio corporation as fronts for their operations in Iraq.
A special branch inside Irans Foreign Ministry is responsible for assisting the Qods Force in bringing in foreign recruits. The recruits first travel to third countries where they are given new passports by Iranian agents to facilitate their entry into Iran. Upon finishing their training course, the new agents leave Iran for third countries from where they use their genuine passports to return to their countries of origin or where missions are planned.
The list of the bases used for training terrorists identified for Iran Focus are as follows:
1) Imam Ali Training Garrison, Tajrish Square, Tehran,
2) Bahonar Garrison, Chalous Street, close to the dam of Karaj,
3) Qoms Ali-Abad Garrison, Tehran-Qom highway,
4) Mostafa Khomeini Garrison, Eshrat-Abad district, Tehran,
5) Crate Camp Garrison, 40 kilometres from the Ahwaz-Mahshar highway,
6) Fateh Qani-Hosseini Garrison, between Tehran and Qom
7) Qayour Asli Garrison, 30 kilometres from Ahwaz-Khorramshahr highway,
8) Abouzar Garrison, Qaleh-Shahin district, Ahwaz, Khuzestan province
9) Hezbollah Garrison, Varamin, east of Tehran
10) Eezeh Training Garrison
11) Amir-ol-Momenin Garrison, Ban-Roushan, Ilam province
12) Kothar Training Garrison, Dezful Street, Shoushtar, Khuzestan province
13) Imam Sadeq Garrison, Qom
14) Lavizan Training Centre, north-east Tehran
15) Abyek Training Centre, west of Tehran
16) Dervish Training Centre, 18 kilometres from the Ahwaz-Mahshar highway,
17) Qazanchi Training Centre, Ravansar-Kermanshah-Kamyaran tri-junction,
18) Beit-ol-Moqaddas University, Qom
19) Navab Safavi School, Ahwaz
20) Nahavand Training Centre, 45 kilometres from Nahavand, western Iran