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Monday, December 09, 2019

Al-Qaeda Sets Up Anti-Drone Cells

@AFP

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (AFP) – Al-Qaeda’s leaders have set up cells of engineers to try to shoot down, disable or hijack U.S. drones, The Washington Post reported late Tuesday citing top-secret U.S. intelligence documents.

The Al-Qaeda leadership is “hoping to exploit the technological vulnerabilities of a weapons system that has inflicted huge losses against the terrorist network,” the Post said online.

“Although there is no evidence that Al-Qaeda has forced a drone crash or successfully interfered with flight operations, U.S. intelligence officials have closely tracked the group’s persistent efforts to develop a counterdrone strategy since 2010,” the report said, citing the secret documents.

The Al-Qaeda commanders are keen to achieve “a technological breakthrough [that] could curb the U.S. drone campaign, which has killed an estimated 3,000 people over the past decade,” the Post reported.

Drone strikes have forced al-Qaeda operatives to limit their movements in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and other places.

They have also taken a toll among civilians in those countries, something that has fueled anti-U.S. sentiment.

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Gen. Glen VanHerch

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Three Chinese spy balloons traversed United States territory unseen during former President Donald Trump's presidency due to a "domain awareness gap," CNN reports.

U.S. Air Force General Glen D. VanHerck, who serves as commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, confirmed to CNN that the successful balloon transit was due to the domain awareness gap but also said he did not "want to go into further detail."

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