The Associated Press recently uncovered a trove of documents left behind by al-Qaida operatives in Timbuktu, Mali. A rough translation of one of the documents reveals instructions the terror group has compiled to help people in regions where the United States frequently uses drone strikes to take out key targets avoid being killed by the unmanned aerial vehicles.
While the list of 22 tips to avoid being killed by drones was compiled by a terrorist group in a foreign land, recent developments demonstrating the willingness of the U.S. government to order strikes against its own citizens prove, unfortunately, that there could be a time when U.S. citizens could benefit from the advice.
There have not yet been any drone strikes carried out on U.S. soil, but politicians such as Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) maintain that the government’s capability and past use of drone strikes against American citizens on foreign soil warrant cause for concern.
In a recent letter to Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan, who is currently being vetted by Congress for the top position at the CIA, Paul said he believes the government should provide concrete answers to the following questions, among others:
- “Do you believe that the president has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil? What about the use of lethal force against a non-U.S. person on U.S. soil?”
- “Do you believe that the prohibition on CIA participation in domestic law enforcement, first established by the National Security Act of 1947, would apply to the use of lethal force, especially lethal force directed at an individual on a targeting list, if a U.S. citizen on a targeting list was found to be operating on U.S. soil? What if the individual on the targeting list was a non-U.S. person but found to be operating on U.S. soil? Do you consider such an operation to be domestic law enforcement, or would it only be subject to the president’s wartime powers?”
- “Have you personally been involved in either the decision to place a U.S. citizen on a targeting list, or the decision to set criteria by which U.S. citizens may be placed on a targeting list?”
Wyden had a similar question earlier this month during a confirmation hearing for Brennan: “I’ve asked you how much evidence the president needs to decide that a particular American can be lawfully killed and whether the administration believes that the president can use this authority inside the United States. What do you think needs to be done to ensure that members of the public understand more about when the government thinks it’s allowed to kill them, particularly with respect to those two issues: the question of evidence and the authority to use this power within the United States?”
Again, drone strikes have not yet been used to kill Americans on U.S. soil; but the public should certainly be worried that U.S. Senators even feel the need to ask questions about the prospect of it happening in the future.
In the event that the public fails to get angry enough to make clear to government officials that drone strikes on U.S. soil will never be tolerated, the following public service announcement is brought to you by al-Qaida.
Ways To Avoid Being Blown To Smithereens In An Extrajudicial Drone Strike Carried Out By Your Government:
1. It is possible to know the intention and the mission of the drone by using the Russianmade “sky grabber” device to infiltrate the drone’s waves and the frequencies. The device is available in the market for $2,595 and the one who operates it should be a computer know-how.
2. Using devices that broadcast frequencies or pack of frequencies to disconnect the contacts and confuse the frequencies used to control the drone. The Mujahideen have had successful experiments using the Russian-made “Racal.”
3. Spreading the reflective pieces of glass on a car or on the roof of the building.
4. Placing a group of skilled snipers to hunt the drone, especially the reconnaissance ones because they fly low, about six kilometres or less.
5. Jamming of and confusing of electronic communication using the ordinary water-lifting dynamo fitted with a 30-metre copper pole.
6. Jamming of and confusing of electronic communication using old equipment and keeping them 24-hour running because of their strong frequencies and it is possible using simple ideas of deception of equipment to attract the electronic waves devices similar to that used by the Yugoslav army when they used the microwave (oven) in attracting and confusing the Nato missiles fitted with electromagnetic searching devices.
7. Using general confusion methods and not to use permanent headquarters.
8. Discovering the presence of a drone through well-placed reconnaissance networks and to warn all the formations to halt any movement in the area.
9. To hide from being directly or indirectly spotted, especially at night.
10. To hide under thick trees because they are the best cover against the planes.
11. To stay in places unlit by the sun such as the shadows of the buildings or the trees.
12. Maintain complete silence of all wireless contacts.
13. Disembark of vehicles and keep away from them especially when being chased or during combat.
14. To deceive the drone by entering places of multiple entrances and exits.
15. Using underground shelters because the missiles fired by these planes are usually of the fragmented anti-personnel and not anti-buildings type.
16. To avoid gathering in open areas and in urgent cases, use building of multiple doors or exits.
17. Forming anti-spies groups to look for spies and agents.
18. Formation of fake gatherings such as using dolls and statutes to be placed outside false ditches to mislead the enemy.
19. When discovering that a drone is after a car, leave the car immediately and everyone should go in different direction because the planes are unable to get after everyone.
20. Using natural barricades like forests and caves when there is an urgent need for training or gathering.
21. In frequently targeted areas, use smoke as cover by burning tires.
22. As for the leaders or those sought after, they should not use communications equipment because the enemy usually keeps a voice tag through which they can identify the speaking person and then locate him.