Members of the Associate Press in Timbuktu, Mali have discovered what appears to be a list of 22 methods/tactics for enemy fighters to avoid being targeted by American drone strikes. The list which was found in a manila folder in an abandoned Islamist building was published online by the Associate Press.
The document was created by Yemeni extremist, Abdallah bin Muhammad, a senior member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Although the document was possibly written in 2011 following the death of Anwar al-Awlaki by American drones – this may be the first time an English copy has been discovered. Experts are chiming in that this sharing of intelligence between different al-Qaeda factions from vast distances is the start of a more cohesive network that has widely been believed to be on the verge of collapse and isolationism.
The 22 methods in my own words (except for one):
1. Buy the Russian-made “Sky Grabber” for the low low price of $2,595 that is able to infiltrate the Drone’s internal frequencies.
2. Use another device that broadcasts frequencies on many wave lengths in order to block the signal on which the Drone operates on.
3. Spread the reflective pieces of glass on the roof of a car or building.
4. Place skilled snipers to take out the low-flying reconnaissance drones.
5. Jamming of and confusing of electronic communication using the ordinary water-lifting dynamo fitted with a 30-meter copper pole.
6. Confusing the Americans by continuously running (24-hours) radio or other electro-magnetic equipment to attract/confuse the Americans to that specific location.
7. Using good trade-craft in order to confuse the enemy and not having a permanent headquarters location.
8. Having a well placed early warning system (people hiding in the area) to discover drone activity and to tell all forces to halt activity.
9. To stay hidden from sight – especially at night.
10. Hide under thick trees to avoid the drone’s cameras.
11. Hide in the shadows of buildings or trees – unlit areas.
12. Maintain complete radio silence on all wireless contacts.
13. When being chased or during combat – disembark and keep your distance from all vehicles.
14. Deceive drones by entering buildings that have multiple exits/entrances.
15. Use underground shelters/bunkers as the usual drone missiles are anti-personnel rather than anti-building.
16. Avoid gathering in open areas, but if you need to – make sure there are multiple exits.
17. Form anti-spy groups to track down other spies or agents. (counter-surveillance)
18. Create fake gatherings using dolls/statues to confuse the enemy.
19. If driving in a vehicle and you are being chased by a drone – all the occupants must exit the vehicle and run away in opposite directions as the drone can only follow one.
20. Use natural barricades like forests or caves when you need to train or gather.
21. If you are in an area that is frequently assaulted by drones – burn tires consistently to obstruct the drones.
22. For all senior leaders: do not use voice communication (radio/phone) as you are being tracked specifically by these means.
All in all this is good advice and it’s obvious the enemy is not oblivious to our SIGINT and other ISR capabilities to hunt down and kill terrorist leaders.