An illustrated, eight page, guide published recently on al-Qaeda?s military message boards details the role snipers play in an organized military effort as well as provides basic training and equipment suggestions. For example, the authors take pains to specify that, due to their highly specialized and essential role, snipers must have better equipment than normal infantry.
The guide proceeds to describe the situations in which snipers can be most effective, specifically ?cities and towns, ambushes, fights against patrols, slaying operatives, and sneaking behind the enemy?. The last situation underscores the guide?s repeated ascertains that snipers should be able to conduct operations behind enemy lines, effectively doubling as scouts.
The illustrations not only include diagrams on how to move while camouflaged, but also several photographs depicting equipment needed by a sniper. For example, the following picture shows the component parts of a Russian-made sniper rifle:
According to the guide, ?he [the sniper] is indispensable to any field leader… by achieving his main mission, the sniper will have inflicted casualties upon the enemy, frightened and demoralized them, confused them, and slowed down their movements?. Snipers should ?operate in teams of two? in ?a stable, comfortable place where [they] can find targets, estimate the distance, height, wind speed, and adjust [their] position correspondingly?.
Finally, the guide demonstrates ways of moving stealthily by ?low crawling?, ?medium crawling?, ?high crawling?, and ?walking?.
A full translation of the guide is provided to our Intel Service members.