Der Spiegel: Two thousand Iranian Jihadis being trained in Albania

Around 2,000 Iranian jihadis are being trained in unorthodox warfare, martial arts, and the use of weapons with US support in a camp close to Tirana, German magazine Der Spiegel reveals.

According to the report, this boot camp is about a 35-minutes drive from Tirana, and the men and women living there are completely isolated from the outside world.

From Spiegel:

On a country road in northwestern Albania, a rather odd collection of men and women living together in a camp are busy preparing themselves to topple the Iranian regime. Three times per week, many of them apparently practice slitting throats, breaking hands, jabbing out eyeballs with fingers and performing the so-called Glasgow Smile, which involves cutting cheeks from the corner of the mouth up toward the ear. That, at least, is the story told by a former member of the group.

The camp, roughly the size of 50 football fields and surrounded by high fences, is located just a 35-minute drive from the lively bars of downtown Tirana, but the people inside live in something of a time capsule. Former members of the group report that most of the 2,000 camp residents aren’t allowed to possess mobile phones, watches or calendars, though members of the organization that operates the camp deny those claims.

“My daughter is living somewhere in there,” says Mostafa Mohammadi, a 61-year-old Iranian man with a high forehead and deep eye sockets. Her name is Somayeh, a woman of 38. Her father, who lives in Canada, claims that she is being held in the camp against her will, which is why he spent several months in Albania last year. During a meeting there, he said: “I don’t have anything to do with politics. Please, I just want to see.

read the article here