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Are There Really Jihadist Training Camps in the U.S.?

For years I have seen posters on Facebook and videos telling us that there are dozens and dozens, maybe even hundreds, of terrorist training camps throughout the U.S. I have greeted these reports with a mixture of some belief and a lot of skepticism.

It's pretty clear from the September 11, 2001 massacre that there were Islamist sleeper cells in the United States. It is also pretty clear that jihadists get their inspiration from such savage organizations as ISIS and al-Qaeda, swear allegiance to them, and carry out terror attacks (such as in San Bernardino, Boston, Chattanooga, New York City, and elsewhere around the world). Why wouldn't there be actual training camps hidden in the woods or the desert?

However, for the same number of years the press has "pooh-poohed" the ideas that large groups of Muslims are training for holy war against us in camps scattered throughout America. For example, in 2015 Business Insider basically said that all the stories about terrorist training camps run by Islamic groups such as Jamaat ul-Fuqra are just fiction without any hard evidence to back them up.

You can read the same kind of disbelief in these stories by the Dallas Observer,

Buzzfeed NewsVox, and even Fox News. In short, these media outlets are saying that most of the ideas about jihadist training camps come from one source: the Clarion Project. Since the Clarion Project is just a bunch of ultra-right-wing Islamophobes, we cannot take what they say with any kind of certainty.

But then there's this story that recently broke from New Mexico. Police raided a camp inhabited by five Muslim adults and 11 children. At this "squatter camp," adults were training children to shoot up schools. Authorities have also discovered the body of a small boy. Most of the mainstream media reported this, including CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, and Fox.

From these stories we know that the man who was arrested, Siraj Wahhaj, was the son of a New York imam (Siraj Wahhaj senior) who served as a character witness for "the blind sheikh" (Omar Abdel Rahman), who conspired to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993.

It is also noteworthy that Linda Sarsour, a lover of jihad and founder of the Women's March, considers Siraj Wahhaj (senior) to be her mentor and inspiration. Think about that: A man who was a character witness for a murderer like the "blind sheikh" is also Linda Sarsour's mentor! Sarsour says so herself in this video:

So there is, or was, at least one confirmed "training camp" for jihadists. It was in a squalid squatter compound and there were only five adults. Hardly enough jihadists to take over America. Nothing to be afraid of, right?