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Jihad Trial Witness Says Paintball Was Training Drill

A group of Muslim men who are charged with training for jihad played paintball to simulate warfare, learning combat tactics from a Marine Corps manual during secretive sessions in the Virginia countryside, one of the players testified in federal court yesterday. Donald T. Surratt told a judge hearing the case of four members of the alleged “Virginia jihad network” that the men played paintball “to learn how to fight” and were led by a group member designated as the “emir.” He described an increasingly intense series of games in which members would be “punished” with additional exercise if they arrived late and were forbidden to talk about the sessions with outsiders. The players would talk of battles fought by Muslims in Chechnya and Pakistan and, occasionally, about dying as a martyr for Islam, said Surratt, a former Marine Corps clerk who instructed the men in combat tactics using a manual from his basic training. Full Story

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