Abu Ahmed, a senior official within ISIL, said Camp Bucca was “the perfect environment” for jihadists to learn from each other and scheme for the future in an interview to The Guardian in 2014:

We had so much time to sit and plan. We could never have all got together like this in Baghdad, or anywhere else… It would have been impossibly dangerous. Here, we were not only safe, but we were only a few hundred metres away from the entire al-Qaida leadership.

We all agreed to get together when we got out. The way to reconnect was easy. We wrote each other’s details on the elastic of our boxer shorts. When we got out, we called. Everyone who was important to me was written on white elastic. I had their phone numbers, their villages. By 2009, many of us were back doing what we did before we were caught. But this time we were doing it better.

Another former detainee, Adel Jasim Mohammed, who spoke to al-Jazeera in 2009, said he witnessed inmates “giving courses using classroom boards on how to use explosives, weapons and how to become suicide bombers.” The Americans in charge, he said, “did not stop them.”

Now, ISIL is the biggest terrorist group in the world. As for what happened to Camp Bucca? It has been transformed into a hotel (paywall).

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