If you’re looking for some light reading or to get on one of the NSA’s watch lists, this is your opportunity. Below is a link to Al Qaeda’s renowned training manual, affectionately referred to as the “Manchester Documents,” for your reading pleasure. While by no means a new document, the intent here is to have readers explore this document as a means of gaining insight into how AQ thinks, operates, and fights, which is critical in learning how to most effectively defeat them.
First, some background for the uninitiated. During the course of our long and ongoing war on terror, AQ determined the need to write a training manual that would assist them in transforming radical Muslims into war-fighting machines, not unlike the various field manuals our own military uses at home. Enter the Manchester Documents, Al Qaeda’s cell member playbook and one stop shop for terrorist doctrine, training, and operations.
Found during a search of an Al Qaeda member’s home in Manchester, England in 2000, the AQ training manual covers topics ranging from the Jihadist ideology to various special operations, intelligence collection methods, kidnapping operations, how to identify and maintain safehouses, and many other interesting topics of instruction. In total, there are 18 different “lessons” or chapters that provide doctrine, suggestions, and knowledge necessary to conduct terrorist operations against the West and our interests.