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US drone 'kills five in Pakistan'

US drone 'kills five in Pakistan'
A missile suspected to have been fired by a US drone has killed at least five people in north-western Pakistan, officials say.

The missile hit a house in Janikhel, in the Bannu district of North West Frontier Province, late on Sunday.

Correspondents say this is the sixth drone attack on Pakistani territory since Barack Obama became US president.

Pakistan is critical of the tactic because, it says, civilians are often killed, fuelling support for militants.

Separately, an attack on a terminal on the outskirts of Peshawar has destroyed supplies bound for Nato troops in Afghanistan, the second such attack in as many days.


Local tribesmen in Janikhel said the house destroyed in the missile attack was frequented by the Taleban and foreign militants.

All the men killed were militants and they included two Arabs, the tribesmen said.

Local administration officials confirmed the missile attack but said the identity of the dead could not be confirmed.

This is the second attack in the region in the past five days.

Twenty-five people were killed in a missile strike on a Taleban compound in the tribal region of Kurrum on 12 March.

The attacks are believed to have been carried out by US drones, although this has never been formally acknowledged by the US authorities.

Pakistan's government has strongly criticised the attacks, which have led to an increase in anti-Americanism in the country.

The attack on the Peshawar terminal took place at 0300 on Monday (2200GMT Sunday) when militants used rockets to strike lorries parked at the terminal.

At least eight trucks were destroyed and several others damaged as a blaze engulfed the terminal.

A policeman told the BBC that all the supplies loaded on the trucks had been destroyed.

This is the second such attack on Nato terminals in as many days.

Before dawn on Sunday, about 40 militants attacked the Pak-Afghan Container Terminal near Peshawar burning dozens of vehicles and containers.

The road from Peshawar to Afghanistan is a major supply route for US and Western forces battling the Taleban.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
There is a reason many youth and military have been pushed toward war/killing computer games. The guys who set the coordinates and these drones on their way think of it [have been taught to think of it] as nothing more than a video arcade event. No one was 'really' killed. No family seen to weep and mourn - they're not really 'humans' anyway 'over there'. War has been sanitized; as has the news (sic); next they will sanitize most people's brains [those that haven't already been via TV and the prapaganda machinery.] How about the Wedding Party in Afghanistan descimated some time back. There was so much flack about that the USG even offered to pay the surviving family. I believe they refused.
Peter Lemkin Wrote:There is a reason many youth and military have been pushed toward war/killing computer games. The guys who set the coordinates and these drones on their way think of it [have been taught to think of it] as nothing more than a video arcade event. No one was 'really' killed. No family seen to weep and mourn - they're not really 'humans' anyway 'over there'. War has been sanitized; as has the news (sic); next they will sanitize most people's brains [those that haven't already been via TV and the prapaganda machinery.] How about the Wedding Party in Afghanistan descimated some time back. There was so much flack about that the USG even offered to pay the surviving family. I believe they refused.


In addition, this is state-sanctioned assassination. And yet because of the drone technology, and those fancy video arcade graphics, MSM does not even debate the legality or otherwise of these actions.

And when the drones hit the wrong target - eg wedding parties, or women and children - and locals present photographic evidence of the corpses of the innocent, MSM's default position is to consider such evidence "controversial" and "possible propaganda".

It stinks.
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
I have always hated computer/video games -(never played one in my life)- because it was clear to me that it was just one more way to train to kill.
"Suppose they gave a war and no-one came?" I wish.

Does anyone here remember a folk singer in the 60's named Michael Cooney? He had this great song "The Bankers and the Diplomats" about sending THEM off to fight the wars they started.

It was great idea then and is today. I could NEVER be a high school teacher. I'd be fired for advocating resisting all war.
Dawn Meredith Wrote:I have always hated computer/video games -(never played one in my life)- because it was clear to me that it was just one more way to train to kill.
"Suppose they gave a war and no-one came?" I wish.

Does anyone here remember a folk singer in the 60's named Michael Cooney? He had this great song "The Bankers and the Diplomats" about sending THEM off to fight the wars they started.

It was great idea then and is today. I could NEVER be a high school teacher. I'd be fired for advocating resisting all war.

Can't resist, Must post this:

We Hate to See Them Go
Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1958 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1987. a.k.a. "The Bankers and the Diplomats" and "Gentlemen of Distinction in the Army." An earlier version that lacked the chorus is known as "Swivel Chair Reserves," "Ticker Tape Parade," or "The Bankers and the Diplomats."

Last night I had a lovely dream.
I saw a big parade with ticker tape galore,
And men were marching there
The like I'd never seen before.

Oh the bankers and the diplomats are going in the army.
Oh happy day! I'd give my pay to see them on parade,
Their paunches at attention and their striped pants at ease.
They've gotten patriotic and they're going overseas.
We'll have to do the best we can and bravely carry on,
So we'll just keep the laddies1 here to manage while they're gone.

Oh, oh, we hate to see them go,
The gentlemen of distinction in the army.

The bankers and the diplomats are going in the army,
It seemed too bad to keep them from the wars they love to plan.
We're all of us contented that they'll fight a dandy war,
They don't need propaganda, they know what they're fighting for.
They'll march away with dignity and in the best of form,
And we'll just keep the laddies here to keep the lassies1 warm.


The bankers and the diplomats are going in the army,
We're going to make things easy cause it's all so new and strange;
We'll give them silver shovels when they have to dig a hole,
And they can sing in harmony when answering the roll,
They'll eat their old K-rations from a hand-embroidered box,
And when they die, we'll bring them home, and bury them in Fort Knox.


Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- Little Boxes and Other Handmade Songs
---- The Malvina Reynolds Songbook

Other place(s) where the music to this song appears:
---- Peter Blood-Patterson: Rise Up Singing: The Group-Singing Song Book [lyrics & guitar chords only] (Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out Corp., 1988), p. 187
---- Broadside No. 101 (September 1969)
---- Sing Out!, Volume 20(3) (1971), p. 25

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- Another County Heard From
---- Malvina Reynolds
---- Malvina Reynolds (2007)

Recordings by other artists on which this song is performed:
---- Bluestein Family: Let the Dove Come In [as "The Bankers and the Diplomats"] (Fretless Records FR 156, 1981)
---- Michael Cooney: Michael Cooney [as "The Bankers and the Diplomats Are Going in the Army"] (Folk Legacy Records FSI-35, 1968)
---- Sally Rogers and Claudia Schmidt: Closing the Distance [as "Gentlemen of Distinction in the Army"] (Flying Fish FF70425, 1987)
---- listen to video

Additional note
I just had to find that song. Heres one of my favourites from Rage Against the Machine:

This time the bullet cold rocked ya
A yellow ribbon instead of a
Nothin' proper about ya propaganda
Fools follow rules when the set
commands ya
they said it was blue
When the blood was red
That's how you got a bullet blasted
through ya head

Blasted through ya head
Blasted through ya head

I give a shout out to the living
Who stood and watched as the feds
cold centralized
So serene on the screen
You was mesmerized
Cellular phones soundin' a death
Corporations cold
Turn ya to stone before ya realize

they load the clip in omnicolor
They pack the 9, they fire it at
prime time
Sleeping gas, every home was like
And mutha fuckas lost their minds

Just victims of the in-house
They say jump, you say how high

They load the clop in omnicolor
They pck the 9, they fire it at
prime time
Sleeping gas, every home was like
And mutha fuckas lost their minds

No escape from the mass mind rape
Play it again jack and then rewind
the tape
Play it again and again and again
Until ya mind is locked in
Believin' all the lies that they're
tellin' ya
Buying all the products that they're
sellin' ya
They say jump
you say how high
Ay brain dead
Ya gotta fuckin' bullet in ya head

Just victims of the in-house
They say jump, you say how high

Ya standin' in line
Believin' the lies
Ya bowin' down to the flag
Ya gotta bullet in ya head
The worm has ate the apples core, beneath the skin lies curled.
Just so many a man lies sore, from the worm within the world.
Klingonian cloaked craft strike again:

Quote:Many killed in 'US drone attack'

[Image: _45563756_7851327b-09e2-4623-99b0-9c64e6807bb4.jpg]

A missile fired by a suspected US drone has killed at least 10 people in Pakistan, close to the Afghan border, eyewitnesses say.

The missile hit a house in Orakzai tribal area. Residents and local journalists said the house had been converted into a Taleban camp.

The Taleban have cordoned off the entire area, they said.

Last week, US President Barack Obama said his government would consult Pakistan on drone attacks.

Pakistan has been critical of such strikes. It says civilians are often killed, fuelling support for militants.

On Tuesday, the leader of Pakistan's Taleban Baitullah Mehsud claimed responsibility for Monday's deadly attack on a police academy in Lahore saying it was in retaliation against US drone attacks.

He said the attacks would continue "until the Pakistan government stops supporting the Americans".

Correspondents say that more than 35 US drone strikes have killed more than 340 people in Pakistan since August 2008, shortly before the election of President Asif Ali Zardari.

The US military routinely does not confirm drone attacks but the armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operating in Afghanistan are believed to be the only forces capable of deploying drones in the region.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Consider the REAL war - the FINAL battle begun when they first use killer drones in the USA or UK. Won't be long now...They'll probably first use them on the border...but then inside....coming to a home or out in the forest, field, mountains, desert, beach near you!
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
The MQ-1 Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which the United States Air Force describes as a MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) UAV system. It can serve in a reconnaissance role and fire two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The aircraft, in use since 1995, has seen combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, and Yemen. It is a remote-controlled aircraft.

The MQ-1 Predator is a system, not just an aircraft. The fully operational system consists of four air vehicles (with sensors), a ground control station (GCS), a Predator primary satellite link communication suite, and 55 people. In the over-all U.S. Air Force integrated UAV system the Predator is considered a "Tier II" vehicle.[2]

The Predator system was initially designated the RQ-1 Predator. The "R" is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance and the "Q" refers to an unmanned aircraft system.[3] The "1" describes it as being the first of a series of aircraft systems built for unmanned reconnaissance. Pre-production systems were designated as RQ-1A, while the RQ-1B (not to be confused with the RQ-1 Predator B, which became the MQ-9 Reaper) denotes the baseline production configuration. It should be emphasized that these are designations of the system as a unit. The actual aircraft themselves were designated RQ-1K for pre-production models, and RQ-1L for production models.[4] In 2005, the Air Force officially changed the designation to MQ-1 (the "M" designates multi-role) to reflect its growing use as an armed aircraft.[5]

As of 2009 the Air Force’s fleet stands at 195 Predators and 28 Reapers.[1]

More than one third of all deployed Predator spy planes have crashed. 55 were lost because of "equipment failure, operator errors or weather". Four of them were shot down in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq; 11 were lost in combat situations, such as "running out of fuel while protecting troops under fire."[1]Contents [hide]
1 Development
1.1 Command and sensor systems
1.2 Deployment methodology
1.3 Armed version development
1.4 NASA and NPGS unarmed research versions
1.5 MQ-1C Warrior
2 Operational history
2.1 Squadrons and operational units
2.2 Balkans
2.3 Afghanistan
2.4 Pakistan
2.5 Yemen
2.6 Iraq
2.7 Others
3 Operators
4 Specifications
5 See also
6 References
7 External links


At Paris Air Show 2007

A Predator flies on a simulated Navy aerial reconnaissance flight off the coast of southern California on Dec. 5, 1995.

The CIA and the Pentagon had each been experimenting with reconnaissance drones since the early 1980s. The CIA preferred small, lightweight, unobtrusive drones, in contrast to the USAF. In the early 1990s the agency became interested in the "Amber", a drone developed by Abraham Karem and his company, Leading Systems Inc.[4]. Karem was the former chief designer for the Israeli Air Force, and had migrated to the United States in the late 1970s. Karem's company had since gone bankrupt and been bought up by a US defense contractor. The CIA secretly bought five drones (now called the "Gnat") from them. Karem agreed to produce a quiet engine for the vehicle, which had until then sounded like "a lawnmower in the sky". The new development became known as the "Predator".[6]

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems was awarded a contract to develop the Predator in January 1994, and the initial Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) phase lasted from January 1994 to June 1996. The aircraft itself was a derivative of the GA Gnat 750 UAV. During the ACTD phase, three systems were purchased from GA, comprising twelve aircraft and three ground control stations.[7]

From April through May, 1995, the Predator ACTD aircraft were flown as a part of the Roving Sands 1995 exercises in the U.S. The exercise operations were successful, and this led to the decision to deploy the system to the Balkans later in the summer of 1995.[7]

Cost for an early production Predator was about $3.2 million USD.[4]

The CIA arranged for Air Force teams trained by the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, to fly the agency's Predators. "First in Bosnia and then in Kosovo, CIA officers began to see the first practical returns ..."[8]

By the time of the Afghan campaign, the Air Force had acquired 60 Predators, and lost 20 of them in action. Few if any of the losses were from enemy action, the worst problem apparently being foul weather, particularly icy conditions. Some critics within the Pentagon saw the high loss rate as a sign of poor operational procedures. In response to the losses caused by cold weather flight conditions, a few of the later Predators obtained by the USAF were fitted with deicing systems, along with an uprated turbocharged engine and improved avionics. This improved "Block 1" version was referred to as the "RQ-1B", or the "MQ-1B" if it carried munitions; the corresponding air vehicle designation was "RQ-1L" or "MQ-1L".

Command and sensor systems

During the campaign in the former Yugoslavia, a Predator's pilot would sit with several payload specialists in a van near the runway of the drone's operating base. (In its Balkan operation, the CIA secretly flew Predators out of Hungary and Albania.) Direct radio signals controlled the drone's takeoff and initial ascent. Then communications shifted to military satellite networks linked to the pilot's van. Pilots experienced a delay of several seconds between tugging their joysticks and the drone's response. But by 2000, improvements in communications systems [perhaps by use of the USAF's JSTARS system] now made it possible, at least in theory, to fly the drone remotely from great distances. It was no longer necessary to use close-up radio signals during the Predator's takeoff and ascent. The entire flight could be controlled by satellite from any command center with the right equipment. The CIA proposed to attempt over Afghanistan the first fully remote Predator flight operations, piloted from the agency's headquarters at Langley.[9]

The Predator air vehicle and sensors are controlled from the ground station via a C-band line-of-sight data link or a Ku-band satellite data link for beyond-line-of-sight operations. During flight operations the crew in the ground control station is a pilot and two sensor operators. The aircraft is equipped with Multi-spectral Targeting System, a color nose camera (generally used by the pilot for flight control), a variable aperture day-TV camera, and a variable aperture infrared camera (for low light/night). Previously, Predators were equipped with a synthetic aperture radar for looking through smoke, clouds or haze, but lack of use validated its removal to reduce weight. The cameras produce full motion video and the synthetic aperture radar produced still frame radar images. There is sufficient bandwidth on the datalink for two video sources to be used at one time, but only one video source from the sensor ball can be used at any time due to design limitations. Either the daylight variable aperture or the infrared electro-optical sensor may be operated simultaneously with the synthetic aperture radar, if equipped.

All Predators are equipped with a laser designator that allows the pilot to identify targets for other aircraft and even provide the laser-guidance for manned aircraft. This laser is also the designator for the AGM-114 Hellfire that are carried on the MQ-1.

Deployment methodology

A pilot and sensor operator man the controls of a MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle from the control room at Balad Air Base, Iraq

Each Predator air vehicle can be disassembled into six main components and loaded into a container nicknamed "the coffin." This enables all system components and support equipment to be rapidly deployed worldwide. The largest component is the ground control station and it is designed to roll into a C-130 Hercules. The Predator primary satellite link consists of a 6.1 meter (20 ft) satellite dish and associated support equipment. The satellite link provides communications between the ground station and the aircraft when it is beyond line-of-sight and is a link to networks that disseminate secondary intelligence. The RQ-1A system needs 1,500 by 40 meters (5,000 by 125 ft) of hard surface runway with clear line-of-sight to each end from the ground control station to the air vehicles. Initially, all components needed be located on the same airfield.

Currently, the US Air Force uses a concept called "Remote-Split Operations" where the satellite datalink is located in a different location and is connected to the GCS through fiber optic cabling. This allows Predators to be launched and recovered by a small "Launch and Recovery Element" and then handed off to a "Mission Control Element" for the rest of the flight. This allows a smaller number of troops to be deployed to a forward location, and consolidates control of the different flights in one location.

The improvements in the MQ-1B production version include an ARC-210 radio, an APX-100 IFF/SIF with mode 4, a glycol-weeping “wet wings” ice mitigation system, up-graded turbo-charged engine, fuel injection, longer wings, dual alternators as well as other improvements.

On 18 May 2006, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a certificate of authorization which will allow the M/RQ-1 and M/RQ-9 aircraft to be used within U.S. civilian airspace to search for survivors of disasters. Requests had been made in 2005 for the aircraft to be used in search and rescue operations following Hurricane Katrina, but because there was no FAA authorization in place at the time, the assets were not used. The Predator's infrared camera with digitally-enhanced zoom has the capability of identifying the heat signature of a human body from an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft), making the aircraft an ideal search and rescue tool.[10]

The longest declassified Predator flight was 40 hours, 5 minutes.[11]

The total flight time has reached 400 thousand hours as of March 2009.[12].

Armed version development

MQ-1 Predator, with inert Hellfire missiles, on display at the 2006 Edwards Open House

The Air Force handed the Predator over to the service's Big Safari office after the Kosovo campaign in order to accelerate tests of the UAV in a strike role, fitted with reinforced wings and stores pylons to carry munitions, as well as a laser target designator. This effort led to a series of tests, on 21 February 2001, in which the Predator fired three Hellfire anti-armor missiles, scoring hits on a stationary tank with all three missiles. The scheme was put into service, with the armed Predators given the new designation of MQ-1A. Given that a Predator is very unobtrusive and the Hellfire is supersonic, such a combination gives little warning of attack.[4][13]

In the winter of 2000-2001, after seeing the results of Predator reconnaissance in Afghanistan (see below), Cofer Black, head of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center (CTC), became a "vocal advocate" of arming the Predator with missiles to target Osama bin Laden in the country. He also believed that CIA pressure and practical interest was causing the USAF's armed Predator program to be significantly accelerated. Black, and "Richard", who was in charge of the CTC's Bin Laden Issue Station, continued to press during 2001 for a Predator armed with Hellfire missiles.

Further weapons tests occurred between 22 May and 7 June 2001, with mixed results. While missile accuracy was excellent, there were some problems with missile fuzing ..." In the first week of June, in the Nevada Desert, a Hellfire missile was successfully launched on a replica of bin Laden's Afghanistan Tarnak residence. A missile launched from a Predator exploded inside one of the replica's rooms; it was concluded that any people in the room would have been killed. However, the armed Predator did not go into action before 9/11.[14]

The Air Force has also investigated using the Predator to drop battlefield ground sensors, and to carry and deploy the "Finder" mini-UAV.[4]

NASA and NPGS unarmed research versions

Two unarmed versions, known as the General Atomics ALTUS were built, ALTUS I for the Naval Postgraduate School and ALTUS II for the NASA ERAST Project in 1997 and 1996, respectively.

MQ-1C Warrior
Main article: MQ-1C Warrior

The U.S. Army selected the MQ-1C Warrior as the winner of the Extended-Range Multi-Purpose UAV competition August 2005, and the type is due to become operational in 2009.

Operational history

RQ-1A Predator

The total numbers of Predators in Air Force use as of March 2009 were 195 Predators and 28 Reapers. Predators and Reapers fired missiles 244 times in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. A report in March 2009 indicated that U.S. Air Force had lost 70 Predators in air crashes during its operational history. Fifty-five were lost to equipment failure, operator error, or weather. Four have been shot down in Bosnia, Kosovo, or Iraq. Eleven more were lost to operational accidents on combat missions.[15]
Squadrons and operational units

During the initial ACTD phase, the United States Army led the evaluation program, but in April 1996, the Secretary of Defense selected the U.S. Air Force as the operating service for the RQ-1A Predator system. The 11th, 15th, and 17th Reconnaissance Squadrons, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, and the Air National Guard's 163d Reconnaissance Wing at March Air Reserve Base, California, currently operate the MQ-1 (see below).

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense recommended retiring Ellington Field's 147th Fighter Wing's F-16 Falcon fighter jets (a total of 15 aircraft), which was approved by the Base Realignment and Closure committee. They will be replaced with 12 MQ-1 Predator UAVs, and the new unit should be fully equipped and outfitted by 2009.[16] The wing's combat support arm will remain intact. The 272nd Engineering Installation Squadron, an Air National Guard unit currently located off-base, will move into Ellington Field in its place.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is operating an unknown number of Predators.[17]


A shot down RQ-1 Predator in a museum in Belgrade, Serbia

The first overseas deployment was to the Balkans, from July to November 1995, under the name Nomad Vigil. Operations were based in Gjader, Albania. Several Predators were lost during Nomad Vigil.
One aircraft (serial 95-3017) was lost on 18 April 1999, following fuel system problems and icing.[18]
A second aircraft (serial 95-3019) was lost on 13 May, when it was shot down by a Serbian Strela-1M surface-to-air missile over the village of Biba. A Serbian TV crew videotaped this incident.[19]
A third aircraft (serial number 95-3021) crashed on 20 May near the town of Talinovci, and Serbian news reported that this, too, was the result of anti-aircraft fire.[19][20]


In 2000 a joint CIA-Pentagon effort was agreed to locate Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Dubbed "Afghan Eyes", it involved a projected 60-day trial run of Predators over the country. The first experimental flight was held on 7 September 2000. White House security chief Richard A. Clarke was impressed by the resulting video footage; he hoped that the drones might eventually be used to target Bin Laden with cruise missiles or armed aircraft. Clarke's enthusiasm was matched by that of Cofer Black, head of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center (CTC), and Charles Allen, in charge of the CIA's intelligence-collection operations. The three men backed an immediate trial run of reconnaissance flights. Ten out of the ensuing 15 Predator missions over Afghanistan were rated successful. On at least two flights, a Predator spotted a tall man in white robes at bin Laden's Tarnak Farm compound outside Kandahar; the figure was subsequently deemed to be "probably bin Laden".[21]

"A large video screen loomed in the middle of the CIA's makeshift flight operations center. Air Force drone pilots and CIA officers from the Counterterrorist Center and the CTC's bin Laden unit huddled in the darkened room in the wooded Langley campus from midnight to dawn". But by mid-October, deteriorating weather conditions made it difficult for the Predator to fly from its base in Uzbekistan, and the run of flights was suspended.[22]

It was hoped to resume flights in spring 2001, but debates about the use of an armed Predator (see above) delayed a restart. Only on 4 September 2001 (after the Bush cabinet approved a Qaeda/Taliban plan) did CIA chief Tenet order the agency to resume reconnaissance flights. The Predators were now weapons-capable, but didn't carry missiles because the host country (presumably Uzbekistan) hadn't granted permission.

Subsequent to 9/11, approval was quickly granted to ship the missiles, and the Predator aircraft and missiles reached their overseas location on 16 September 2001. The first mission was flown over Kabul and Kandahar on 18 September without carrying weapons. Subsequent host nation approval was granted on 7 October and the first armed mission was flown on the same day.[23]
On 4 February 2002, an armed Predator attacked a convoy of sport utility vehicles, killing a suspected al Qaeda leader. The intelligence community initially expressed doubt that he was Osama bin Laden.
On 4 March 2002, a CIA-operated Predator fired a Hellfire missile into a reinforced al Qaeda machine gun bunker that had pinned down an Army Ranger team whose CH-47 Chinook had crashed on the top of Takur Ghar Mountain in Afghanistan. Previous attempts by flights of F-15 and F-16 aircraft were unable to destroy the bunker. This action took place during what has become known as the "Battle of Robert's Ridge", a part of Operation Anaconda. This appears to be the first use of such a weapon in a close air support role.[24]

Main article: Drone attacks on Pakistan by the United States of America

Since at least 2006, the US Central Intelligence Agency has allegedly been operating the drones out of Shamsi airfield in Pakistan to assassinate militants in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.[25]
On 13 May 2005, Haitham al-Yemeni, an al Qaeda explosives expert from Yemen, was killed in a village in northwest Pakistan near the Afghanistan border by a CIA-operated MQ-1 Predator aircraft firing a Hellfire missile.[26]
On 3 December 2005, a US Predator UAV reportedly killed high-level Al Qaeda member Chief Abu Hamza Rabia in his sleep in Haisori, Pakistan. Four others were also killed.[27]
On 13 January 2006, several US Predators conducted an airstrike on Damadola village in Pakistan where al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri was reportedly located. CIA Predators reportedly fired 10 missiles killing 18 civilians, including five women and five children. According to Pakistani authorities, the U.S. strike was based on faulty intelligence and al-Zawahiri was not present in the village. Pakistani officials nevertheless claimed that Midhat Mursi (Abu Khabab al-Masri) — al Qaeda's master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert, Khalid Habib — the al Qaeda operations chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Abdul Rehman al Magrabi — a senior operations commander for al Qaeda were all killed in the Damadola attack.[28][29] U.S. and Pakistani officials now say that none of those al Qaeda leaders perished in the strike and that only local villagers were killed.[30]
On 30 October 2006, the Bajaur airstrike was conducted, targeting an alleged militant training camp and targeting al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The strike hit a religious school where militants were believed to be present. Eyewitness reports said that two explosions were heard following a missile being fired from an MQ-1 Predator. Pakistani intelligence officials have told western media that Predators were used in the strike, which utilized Hellfire missiles. Although Zawahiri does not appear to have been caught in the strike, Pakistani officials have stated that between two and five senior al Qaeda fighters, including the mastermind of the airliners plot in the UK, were killed in the raid.[31] While some reports state that the school was a religious training center, Pakistani authorities, including President Musharraf, have stated that the school provided military training to al Qaeda militants. Casualty figures range from 80 to 85 people killed.[32]
On 29 January 2008 an MQ-1B killed Abu Laith al-Libi in Mir Ali.
Images published recently in February, 2009 by the Pakistan Army shows that the USA delivered some MQ-1 Predators to Pakistan.[citation needed]
Al-Qaeda chief dies in missile airstrike The Guardian 1 June 2008 see Damadola airstrike
US Releases Video of Clash Along Pakistan VOA News 12 June 2008
Pakistan Angry as Strike by U.S. Kills 11 Soldiers NY Times 12 June 2008
U.S. Military Releases Video Footage of Airstrike in Pakistan Washington Post 12 June 2008
CIA given green light to bomb Osama bin Laden 2 July 2008
First confrontation with Pakistani jets. An MQ-1 had to return to base after Pakistani jets were scrambled.[33]
A UAV crash landed in the area of Angoor Adda, which has been an area of constant American activity. Local tribesmen have picked up the wreckage and handed over the security forces.[34] Pentagon has denied this.
'US drone' in fatal Pakistan raid AlJazeera 14 February 2009

Main article: CIA activities in Yemen
On 3 November 2002, a CIA Predator (being flown by an Air Force pilot from a French military base, Camp Lemonier, in Djibouti) was again used in a military strike. A Hellfire missile was fired at a car in Yemen, killing Qaed Senyan al-Harthi, an al-Qaeda leader thought to be responsible for the USS Cole bombing. It was the first direct US strike in the War on Terrorism outside Afghanistan.[26][35]
Steve Scher on Weekday – February 23, 2007 KUOW-FM interviews James Bamford on the National Security Agency (Note: minutes 21–24 of 54 minute audio)


An MQ-1B Predator unmanned aircraft from the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron takes off July 9 from Ali Base, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
An Iraqi MiG-25 shot down a Predator performing reconnaissance over the no fly zone in Iraq on 23 December 2002, after the Predator fired a missile at it. This was the first time in history a conventional aircraft and a drone had engaged in combat. Predators had been armed with AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles, and were being used to "bait" Iraqi fighter planes, then run. In this incident, the Predator didn't run, but instead fired one of the Stingers. The Stinger's heat-seeker became "distracted" by the MiG's missile and so missed the MiG, and the Predator was destroyed.[36][37]
During the initial phases of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, a number of older Predators were stripped down and used as decoys to entice Iraqi air defenses to expose themselves by firing.[4][36]
From July 2005 to June 2006, the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron participated in more than 242 separate raids, engaged 132 troops in contact-force protection actions, fired 59 Hellfire missiles; surveyed 18,490 targets, escorted four convoys, and flew 2,073 sorties for more than 33,833 flying hours.[38]


Since the end of 2004 it is also used by the Italian Air Force and since 2006 by the Royal Air Force. Two civil-registered unarmed MQ-1s have been operated by the Office of the National Security Advisor in the Philippines since 2006.[citation needed]

Aeronautica Militare
32° Stormo — Foggia, Amendola Air Force Base
28° Gruppo
United Kingdom
Royal Air Force
No. 1115 Flight RAF
No. 39 Squadron RAF;[39]

Turkish Air Force;[40] The Turkish Air Force has on order 6 MQ-1 Predators via the USA's Foreign Military Sales mechanism.

United States
United States Air Force
Air Combat Command
432d Air Expeditionary Wing—Creech Air Force Base, Nevada
11th Reconnaissance Squadron
15th Reconnaissance Squadron
17th Reconnaissance Squadron
53d Wing—Eglin AFB, Florida
556th Test and Evaluation Squadron—Creech Air Force Base, Nevada
Air Force Special Operations Command
1st Special Operations Wing
3d Special Operations Squadron—Creech Air Force Base, Nevada
Air National Guard
Texas Air National Guard
147th Reconnaissance Wing—Ellington Field
111th Reconnaissance Squadron
California Air National Guard
163d Reconnaissance Wing—March Joint Air Reserve Base
196th Reconnaissance Squadron
Central Intelligence Agency


General characteristics
Crew: 2 (one pilot and one sensor operator)
Length: 27 ft (8.22 m)
Wingspan: 48.7 ft (14.8 m (dependent on block of aircraft))
Height: 6.9 ft (2.1 m)
Wing area: 123.3 sq ft[41] (11.5 m²)
Empty weight: 1,130 lb[42] (512 kg)
Loaded weight: 2,250 lb (1,020 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 2,250 lb[42] (1,020 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Rotax 914F turbocharged Four-cylinder engine, 115 hp[42] (86 kW)

Maximum speed: 135 mph (117 knots, 217 km/h)
Cruise speed: 81–103 mph (70–90 knots, 130–165 km/h)
Stall speed: 62 mph (54 knots (dependent on weight of aircraft), 100 km/h)
Range: >2,000 nm (3,704 km, 2,302 miles)[43] ()
Service ceiling: 25,000 ft [42] (7,620 m)


2 hard points
2 × AGM-114 Hellfire (MQ-1B)
2 × AIM-92 Stinger (unknown number) (MQ-1B)

See also Military of the United States portal

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle
Joint Direct Attack Munition

Related development
MQ-1C Warrior
MQ-9 Reaper
General Atomics ALTUS

Comparable aircraft
IAI Heron
Denel Bateleur

Related lists
List of unmanned aerial vehicles
List of active United States military aircraft

^ a b c d "Drones Are Weapons of Choice in Fighting Qaeda". New York Times. March 16, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. "Considered a novelty a few years ago, the Air Force’s fleet has grown to 195 Predators and 28 Reapers, a new and more heavily armed cousin of the Predator."
^ USAF Tier system scheme
^ "A Short Primer on Military Aircraft Designations" (doc). Hill Aerospace Museum. Retrieved on 2008-11-07.
^ a b c d e Modern Endurance UAVs
^ USAF MQ-1 factsheet
^ Steve Coll, Ghost Wars (Penguin, 2005 edn), pp.527-8 and 658 note 5.
^ a b FAS Intelligence Resource Program RQ-1 information
^ Steve Coll, Ghost Wars (Penguin, 2005 edn), pp.529 and 658 note 6.
^ Steve Coll, Ghost Wars (Penguin, 2005 edn), pp.529-32.
^ SSgt Amy Robinson, "FAA Authorizes Predators to seek survivors," August 2, 2006
^ UAV Librarian desk
^ [1]
^ Predator missile launch test totally successful
^ Steve Coll, Ghost Wars (Penguin, 2005 edn), pp.534, 548-9; The CIA and the Predator Drone (2000-1); Statement of CIA chief Tenet to 9/11 Commission, March 24, 2004, p.15; Barton Gellman, "A Strategy's Cautious Evolution", Washington Post,Jan. 20, 2002, p.A01.
^ Christopher Drew (2009-03-17). "Drones Are Weapons Of Choice In Fighting Qaeda". New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved on 2009-03-18.
^ "Guard unit welcomes Predator, reconnaissance mission". Air Force Link. 2008-06-12.
^ [2][dead link]
^ AFPN report.
^ a b Balkan UAV loss report
^ Serbian TV screen captures showing serial number and wreckage of downed Predator
^ 9/11 Commission Final Report, chapter 6, pp.189-90 (HTML version)
^ Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Penguin, 2005 edn., pp.532, 534
^ 9/11 Commission Report, chapter 6, pp.213-14; Tenet Testimony to the 9/11 Commission, March 24, 2004, p.16.
^ Operation Anaconda - The Battle for Robert's Ridge, video documentary shown on the Military Channel, [3]
^ Page, Jeremy (February 19, 2009). "Google Earth Reveals Secret History Of US Base In Pakistan" (Newspaper article). London Times. Retrieved on February 20, 2009.
^ a b ABC news report
^ Al Qaeda commander killed in Pakistan ABC News Online
^ USAToday article
^ article, "Pakistan fury as CIA airstrike on village kills 18"
^ Whitlock, Craig (2007-09-11). "The New Al-Qaeda Central: Far From Declining, the Network Has Rebuilt, With Fresh Faces and a Vigorous Media Arm". Washington Post. Retrieved on 2007-09-11.
^ Anwarullah Khan (2006-10-31). "82 die as missiles rain on Bajaur: Pakistan owns up to strike; locals blame US drones". Dawn, Pakistan's most widely circulated English language newspaper. Retrieved on 2006-11-01.
^ "Tribal fury at air strike in Pakistan". 2006-10-30.
^ PAF jets in flights over North WaziristanDawn Ramazan 13, 1429
^ "US drone crashes in Waziristan" (in English). Dawn. 2008-09-24. Retrieved on 2008-09-24.
^ Washington Post article
^ a b CBS News report of the dogfight
^ CBS video of shoot-down; also includes a brief clip of the May 13, 1999 Balkans shoot-down
^ Staff Sgt. D. Clare, "California Air National Guard embraces new mission", August 16, 2006
^ Ministry of Defence (2007-11-09). "Reaper takes to the air in Afghanistan". Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
^ Turkish army seeks procurement agency to bid for US Predators
^ "RQ-1 Predator information from The Warfighter's Encyclopedia". 2003-08-14.
^ a b c d USAF MQ-1 fact sheet
^ "Jane's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Targets", Issue Twenty, May 2003, Edited by Kenneth Munson
Parts of this article are taken from the public domain USAF Fact Sheet
This article contains material that originally came from the web article Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by Greg Goebel, which exists in the Public Domain.

External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: MQ-1 Predator

Predator Familiy Update
UAV Sensor Applications
US Airforce Fact Sheet
Predator SATCOM System
British Daily Telegraph article - 'In Las Vegas a pilot pulls the trigger. In Iraq a Predator fires its missile'
GA official predator site
General Atomics Remotely Operated Aircraft Systems official website
Accident report from March 20, 2006 MQ-1L crash
Officially confirmed / documented NATO UAV losses in the Balkans
Missile strike emphasizes Al-Qaida
How the Predator Works
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
The elephant in the room of US policy in this area is the simple fact that any military strike kills innocents along with "bad guys." The "hearts and minds" of those whose loved ones are murdered by these sorties are not likely to be "won."

The vast majority of those who have been willing to express an opinion in Iraq and Afghanistan believe the United States military presence to be the main force responsible for their current misery. Every wedding party we bomb creates that many more "terrorists."

This seemingly endless circle of military action and "anti-American extremism" will continue as long as the United States proceeds on a policy of imperial dominion in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chevronistan, ...all the "Stans."

The current administration policy of picking up the "killing fields" from Iraq and moving them into Afghanistan/Pakistan cannot achieve the stated objectives. Over one million Iraqis have been sent to heaven as a result of past policies. Future escalation in Afghanistan will result in a comparable amount of death.

Hatred of America will (understandably) grow even more intense. The only policy that has a chance of restoring our tattered image (not to mention our tattered national souls...) is that of a principled disengagement from these exercises in imperial power.

Let us hope and cajole, but let's not hold our breath...

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