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U.S. Kills Al Qaeda Leaders by Remote Control
The Sunday Times/Fox News ^ | 11/18/2001 | Stephen Grey

Posted on 11/19/2001 4:20:08 AM PST by Eyes Now Opened

Edited on 04/22/2004 12:31:39 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

There was no moonlight in Afghanistan on Wednesday night. The new moon, marking the beginning of Ramadan, had yet to appear. Invisible under the stars, an unmanned American spy plane circled inaudibly over a stretch of dark landscape, transmitting grainy images back to the United States. Its night-vision camera was focused on a pinpoint of light in the distance, a three-story hotel building, where it detected a great deal of movement. Turbaned men talked agitatedly outside among parked pick-up trucks and military vehicles. Others moved in and out of the building. The drone's controllers, thousands of miles away in a bunker on the eastern seaboard of America, knew who they were. For two days since being roused from their beds in Kabul, these ragged figures had been fleeing south, trying to stay ahead of enemy forces and anxious to avoid satellites and surveillance planes. Moving furtively in small groups across the parched plains, they had spread out on side tracks and dirt roads, avoiding the main highway. Progress was slow. They were still less than 100 miles from the capital when they reached the end of the second day of flight. Many thousands of men had fled in the Taliban withdrawal from Kabul. But amid all the chaos of the retreat, this small convoy was given special attention. It was believed by American intelligence to consist of fighters from Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda organization. Predator spy planes, capable of staying aloft for 24 hours on station, and JSTARS surveillance planes, equipped with radar that can monitor ground movements across a vast area, tracked them from the moment they left Kabul despite their elaborate efforts to avoid detection. The Predators known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) come from the CIA's squadron of remote-control drones. At their cruising speed of 80 knots, they are inaudible from the ground and can identify targets five miles away. Armed with two Hellfire anti-tank missiles, a Predator could have been ordered to strike the convoy at any time. But the controllers chose to go on shadowing it. "This may have been a case of 'follow me to our leader,'" said one American source. If so, the patience paid off with a remarkable prize. It was just before 1 a.m. local time on Thursday when the Americans went in for the kill. The convoy had stopped at a small town. Men in other vehicles were there, too. Some sort of gathering was taking place in the hotel. The single Predator, now overhead, gave a clear picture of the hotel's crowded car park and of the fighters apparently pacing nervously as they waited for their commanders to finish their meeting. Through encrypted satellite communications, the Predator was providing a live battlefield television picture back to control rooms at the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., from where Gen. Tommy Franks has been running the war in Afghanistan. From Tampa, the Predator picture was relayed through the American secure communications network to the CIA in Langley, Va., and to the battle-scarred Pentagon itself. With the local clock showing 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the operation was providing post-lunch viewing for senior leaders. "When this kind of excitement is going on, everyone big wants to take a look. This is modern warfare at work," said one U.S. intelligence source. President Bush was absent, however. He was entertaining President Vladimir Putin of Russia on his Texan ranch. As American officials watched with mounting excitement, three U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle planes, America's premier attack fighters, were moved into position. Deployed from bases in the Gulf, the aircraft had been "loitering" in the Kabul area, kept aloft by in-flight refueling, awaiting the right moment to move in. Nobody knew precisely who they would kill if the order to attack the hotel was given, but intelligence analysts felt certain that senior Al Qaeda officials were meeting in the hotel to consider their next moves as the Taliban regime was collapsing all over the country. Finally, the order was given in Florida for the target to be engaged. Locking the crosshairs of their weapon guidance systems on the hotel below, each of the three F-15s let loose a single GBU-15 "smart bomb." Weighing 2,500 pounds each, these bombs are guided on to their targets by infrared cameras in their noses. As the bombs slammed into the side of the hotel, the Predator completed the mission, launching its two Hellfire missiles at the vehicles in the car park. Almost everyone at the scene was incinerated, with close to 100 people killed. It was many hours before American officials could know just how much they had achieved. Then, in panic and pandemonium, an Al Qaeda operative breached the organization's strict security rules and revealed that a large number of the movement's senior figures had been killed including Mohammed Atef, the 57-year-old deputy to bin Laden and the terrorist group's senior military commander. According to one British official, a satellite phone call from an extremist group in Afghanistan to a foreign country was, like all satellite phone calls from the country, intercepted by British and American listening centers. Translated and transcribed at the National Security Agency in Maryland, the phone call revealed an operative who was heatedly reeling out a list of casualties, and he made a distinct and definite reference to the death of Mohammed Atef. This information was confirmed by a further human intelligence source, said another British official. "They said, 'What a shame he is dead,'" said the senior official, paraphrasing the overheard conversations. By Friday, nobody had identified any bodies at the devastated hotel or could be 100 percent certain who had died. But Pentagon officials began to be increasingly confident that they had killed Atef in the onslaught. Yesterday, the Taliban initially confirmed but then denied he was dead. Other air raids have taken place on Taliban and Al Qaeda positions in the past few days, but the intelligence officials believe Atef died at the hotel. Its exact location has not been confirmed, but one source suggested it was in Gardez, an ethnic Pushtun stronghold on the road up from Kabul into the Taliban mountain province of Paktia. The death of Atef, say security officials, has wiped out one of the western world's most formidable opponents. With a daughter married to one of bin Laden's sons, he was considered by many to be a potential successor to head Al Qaeda if bin Laden was killed. British and American intelligence agencies had identified Atef as an important planner of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. He was the key link man, they believe, between bin Laden and the hijackers. Telephone calls intercepted by spy agencies are believed to have revealed specific details of how Atef controlled and approved the suicide hijackings. It is believed by security agencies that Mohammed Atta, the German-based ringleader of the hijackers and a fellow Egyptian, had visited Afghanistan to get Atef's specific go-ahead for the Sept. 11 attacks. In May 1998, at a press conference in Afghanistan, bin Laden introduced Atef as his "right-hand man," according to Pakistani newspaper reports. The Al Qaeda leader then repeated his declaration of war on Americans. Atef was already plotting the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa, which occurred three months later. Atef not only sat on the shura (consultation council) of Al Qaeda, but also headed the group's military council. He was responsible for the training of Al Qaeda terrorists, including suicide bombers. While Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's other top figure, provided bin Laden with the reasoned religious justification for mass murder, Atef provided him with the means of delivering it. Like al-Zawahiri, he was an Egyptian who was trained as a terrorist by the extremist Islamic Jihad organization. His relationship with bin Laden dates back to the 1980s, when he left Egypt to fight in Afghanistan. When bin Laden left Afghanistan for Sudan in 1991, Atef traveled with him, in charge of his security. About two years later, he was dispatched to Somalia to determine "how best to cause violence to the United States and United Nations military forces stationed there," according to the court indictment over the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Africa. Atef also provided training to Somali tribes opposed to the U.N. intervention in Somalia. American authorities believe fighters who attacked and killed 18 American soldiers in Somalia were trained by Al Qaeda.


(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


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Sorry if this has already been posted. I tried searching and couldn't find anything. Enjoy!
1 posted on 11/19/2001 4:20:08 AM PST by Eyes Now Opened
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To: Eyes Now Opened
Paragraphs would be a nice touch.
2 posted on 11/19/2001 4:22:48 AM PST by Yankee
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To: Eyes Now Opened
FOXNews.com

U.S. Kills Al Qaeda Leaders by Remote Control

Sunday, November 18, 2001
By Stephen Grey



There was no moonlight in Afghanistan on Wednesday night. The new moon, marking the beginning of Ramadan, had yet to appear. Invisible under the stars, an unmanned American spy plane circled inaudibly over a stretch of dark landscape, transmitting grainy images back to the United States.

Its night-vision camera was focused on a pinpoint of light in the distance, a three-story hotel building, where it detected a great deal of movement. Turbaned men talked agitatedly outside among parked pick-up trucks and military vehicles. Others moved in and out of the building. The drone's controllers, thousands of miles away in a bunker on the eastern seaboard of America, knew who they were. 

For two days since being roused from their beds in Kabul, these ragged figures had been fleeing south, trying to stay ahead of enemy forces and anxious to avoid satellites and surveillance planes. 

Moving furtively in small groups across the parched plains, they had spread out on side tracks and dirt roads, avoiding the main highway. Progress was slow. They were still less than 100 miles from the capital when they reached the end of the second day of flight. 

Many thousands of men had fled in the Taliban withdrawal from Kabul. But amid all the chaos of the retreat, this small convoy was given special attention. It was believed by American intelligence to consist of fighters from Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda organization. 

Predator spy planes, capable of staying aloft for 24 hours on station, and JSTARS surveillance planes, equipped with radar that can monitor ground movements across a vast area, tracked them from the moment they left Kabul — despite their elaborate efforts to avoid detection. 

The Predators — known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — come from the CIA's squadron of remote-control drones. At their cruising speed of 80 knots, they are inaudible from the ground and can identify targets five miles away. 

Armed with two Hellfire anti-tank missiles, a Predator could have been ordered to strike the convoy at any time. But the controllers chose to go on shadowing it. 

"This may have been a case of 'follow me to our leader,'" said one American source. If so, the patience paid off with a remarkable prize. 

It was just before 1 a.m. local time on Thursday when the Americans went in for the kill. The convoy had stopped at a small town. Men in other vehicles were there, too. Some sort of gathering was taking place in the hotel. The single Predator, now overhead, gave a clear picture of the hotel's crowded car park and of the fighters — apparently pacing nervously as they waited for their commanders to finish their meeting. 

Through encrypted satellite communications, the Predator was providing a live battlefield television picture back to control rooms at the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., from where Gen. Tommy Franks has been running the war in Afghanistan. 

From Tampa, the Predator picture was relayed through the American secure communications network to the CIA in Langley, Va., and to the battle-scarred Pentagon itself. With the local clock showing 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the operation was providing post-lunch viewing for senior leaders. 

"When this kind of excitement is going on, everyone big wants to take a look. This is modern warfare at work," said one U.S. intelligence source. President Bush was absent, however. He was entertaining President Vladimir Putin of Russia on his Texan ranch. 

As American officials watched with mounting excitement, three U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle planes, America's premier attack fighters, were moved into position. Deployed from bases in the Gulf, the aircraft had been "loitering" in the Kabul area, kept aloft by in-flight refueling, awaiting the right moment to move in. 

Nobody knew precisely who they would kill if the order to attack the hotel was given, but intelligence analysts felt certain that senior Al Qaeda officials were meeting in the hotel to consider their next moves as the Taliban regime was collapsing all over the country. Finally, the order was given in Florida for the target to be engaged. 

Locking the crosshairs of their weapon guidance systems on the hotel below, each of the three F-15s let loose a single GBU-15 "smart bomb." Weighing 2,500 pounds each, these bombs are guided on to their targets by infrared cameras in their noses. 

As the bombs slammed into the side of the hotel, the Predator completed the mission, launching its two Hellfire missiles at the vehicles in the car park. Almost everyone at the scene was incinerated, with close to 100 people killed. 

It was many hours before American officials could know just how much they had achieved. Then, in panic and pandemonium, an Al Qaeda operative breached the organization's strict security rules and revealed that a large number of the movement's senior figures had been killed — including Mohammed Atef, the 57-year-old deputy to bin Laden and the terrorist group's senior military commander. 

According to one British official, a satellite phone call from an extremist group in Afghanistan to a foreign country was, like all satellite phone calls from the country, intercepted by British and American listening centers. 

Translated and transcribed at the National Security Agency in Maryland, the phone call revealed an operative who was heatedly reeling out a list of casualties, and he made a distinct and definite reference to the death of Mohammed Atef. This information was confirmed by a further human intelligence source, said another British official. 

"They said, 'What a shame he is dead,'" said the senior official, paraphrasing the overheard conversations. 

By Friday, nobody had identified any bodies at the devastated hotel or could be 100 percent certain who had died. But Pentagon officials began to be increasingly confident that they had killed Atef in the onslaught. Yesterday, the Taliban initially confirmed but then denied he was dead. 

Other air raids have taken place on Taliban and Al Qaeda positions in the past few days, but the intelligence officials believe Atef died at the hotel. Its exact location has not been confirmed, but one source suggested it was in Gardez, an ethnic Pushtun stronghold on the road up from Kabul into the Taliban mountain province of Paktia. 

The death of Atef, say security officials, has wiped out one of the western world's most formidable opponents. With a daughter married to one of bin Laden's sons, he was considered by many to be a potential successor to head Al Qaeda if bin Laden was killed. 

British and American intelligence agencies had identified Atef as an important planner of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. He was the key link man, they believe, between bin Laden and the hijackers. 

Telephone calls intercepted by spy agencies are believed to have revealed specific details of how Atef controlled and approved the suicide hijackings. 

It is believed by security agencies that Mohammed Atta, the German-based ringleader of the hijackers and a fellow Egyptian, had visited Afghanistan to get Atef's specific go-ahead for the Sept. 11 attacks. 

In May 1998, at a press conference in Afghanistan, bin Laden introduced Atef as his "right-hand man," according to Pakistani newspaper reports. The Al Qaeda leader then repeated his declaration of war on Americans. Atef was already plotting the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa, which occurred three months later. 

Atef not only sat on the shura (consultation council) of Al Qaeda, but also headed the group's military council. He was responsible for the training of Al Qaeda terrorists, including suicide bombers. While Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's other top figure, provided bin Laden with the reasoned religious justification for mass murder, Atef provided him with the means of delivering it. 

Like al-Zawahiri, he was an Egyptian who was trained as a terrorist by the extremist Islamic Jihad organization. His relationship with bin Laden dates back to the 1980s, when he left Egypt to fight in Afghanistan. When bin Laden left Afghanistan for Sudan in 1991, Atef traveled with him, in charge of his security. 

About two years later, he was dispatched to Somalia to determine "how best to cause violence to the United States and United Nations military forces stationed there," according to the court indictment over the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Africa. 

Atef also provided training to Somali tribes opposed to the U.N. intervention in Somalia. American authorities believe fighters who attacked and killed 18 American soldiers in Somalia were trained by Al Qaeda.

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3 posted on 11/19/2001 4:23:57 AM PST by NittanyLion
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To: Eyes Now Opened
Awesome article but you really need to learn how to format....

Remember, paragraphs are our friends......

NeverGore

4 posted on 11/19/2001 4:25:38 AM PST by nevergore
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To: Eyes Now Opened
Sounds like how the Israelis do it. "Achmed, you have a phone call" , "Hello?"

BOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!!

5 posted on 11/19/2001 4:28:30 AM PST by hoosierboy
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To: Eyes Now Opened
Good article, but would be better with a few of the rudimentary format commands shown on every posting screen, notably:

<P> = new paragraph
<BR> = line break

6 posted on 11/19/2001 4:28:48 AM PST by Vigilanteman
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To: NittanyLion
You can run, but you'll only die tired.

I love that slogan.

THese poor guys put booby traps on the ground to prevent the door from being kicked in. No defense for a GBU, eh, Achmed???

7 posted on 11/19/2001 4:33:13 AM PST by Blueflag
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To: Eyes Now Opened
"The new moon, marking the beginning of Ramadan, had yet to appear."

Could be a long night, waiting for that new moon to appear. A new moon normally is invisible!

8 posted on 11/19/2001 4:35:35 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: aculeus; Travis McGee
"This is modern warfare at work."
9 posted on 11/19/2001 4:37:04 AM PST by dighton
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To: Vigilanteman
Screw formatting on this one. We just took out Bin Laden's operations guy, the person who has planned every single Al Quaeda attack.

Al Quaeda has to strengths, it's fanatical followers and it's operational planning. Bin Laden's leadership (and money) have been at the center of the fanatical followers. The followers come out of indoctrination programs funded by Bin Laden and they think that he is the mahdi. But the operational planning has been extremely important. Abu Nidal and Abu Sayyaf have never been able to penetrate the US security shield to any extent, Al Quaeda has been extremely successful at it.

Taking this guy out is a tremendous success. The pilots and Predator crews should be sharing in five big ones, among other things. At the very least it's break out the champagne time.

10 posted on 11/19/2001 4:38:18 AM PST by Abn1508
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To: Abn1508
Predators used to scare hell out of people in southern Arizona where they were tested. The doves would go nuts and they could even panic a horned owl. Everyone wondered what the hell they were used for, and now they know.
11 posted on 11/19/2001 5:00:33 AM PST by gaspar
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To: NittanyLion
Atef's last words: "Somebody set us up the bomb."
12 posted on 11/19/2001 5:05:01 AM PST by Poohbah
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To: Eyes Now Opened
Here's something I picked up from NPR this morning. Correspondent Richard Inskiep was near Kunduz, hanging out with Northern Alliance fighters, watching B-52s bomb Taliban positions. THE NORTHERN ALLIANCE FIGHTERS WERE TALKING TO TALIBAN FIGHTERS ON THE RADIO!

They were razzing and taunting each other. "Hah! You missed me!" etc.

But with radio signals coming from Taliban lines, those bombs won't miss much.

13 posted on 11/19/2001 5:12:29 AM PST by MoralSense
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To: Blueflag; Poohbah
This certainly sends quite a message: We can touch you no matter where you are, and no matter how carefully you think you've covered your tracks. Now that's terror.
14 posted on 11/19/2001 5:12:47 AM PST by NittanyLion
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To: nevergore
Sorry everyone about the lack of paragraphs - this was my first post. I'll remember for next time!
15 posted on 11/19/2001 5:13:48 AM PST by Eyes Now Opened
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To: Eyes Now Opened
Great ! Here's a pic of a Predator with two Hellfires.

Predator w/2 Hellfire Missles

This is from an article about the test firing of Hellfires from the Predator.

Rq-1 Predator® Hellfire Missile Tests “Totally Successful"

16 posted on 11/19/2001 5:14:15 AM PST by csvset
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To: Eyes Now Opened
Time to allow 13 year old boys in the military. They would pay the government to allow them to sit behind a terminal and control a Predator drone. Might need some Marines nearby to drag them away for some sleep every 18 hours or so however.
17 posted on 11/19/2001 5:17:37 AM PST by LarryLied
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To: Blueflag
Now if only we could have gotten the media their to stick a microphone in their face and say 'how do you feel?'
18 posted on 11/19/2001 5:19:27 AM PST by Elihu Burritt
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To: Abn1508
Yeah, this is totally cool. What could be scarier than an enemy who can track you and kill you at little or no risk to himself? All those people who say we have to put a gazillion troops on the ground so that the enemy will "respect" us are full of it. We don't want the enemy to "respect" us-- we want them to be so terrified of us that they lose the will to fight. If that takes troops, then that's what we do. If it doesn't, all the better.
19 posted on 11/19/2001 5:28:02 AM PST by walden
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To: Eyes Now Opened
Atef also provided training to Somali tribes opposed to the U.N. intervention in Somalia. American authorities believe fighters who attacked and killed 18 American soldiers in Somalia were trained by Al Qaeda.

It's a shame the Rangers could not have been in on this kill. Oh, well, I guess we'll take it.

20 posted on 11/19/2001 5:37:49 AM PST by gridlock
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To: NittanyLion
Such terrifying technology is a double-edged sword. Neither Jules Verne nor George Orwell could imagine it.

Now more than ever before, Americans must remain eternally vigilant in the defense of liberty.

Such technology helps make the world safe from terrorists such as Atef, Zawahiri, and bin Laden and their Al-Qa'eda network.

But what if men such as these had such technology themselves? People such as they are present in every population and always have been.

What if Hitler had had such technology? or Pol Pot? or Stalin?

Americans must be particularly vigilant toward threats from within the U.S.--internal threats to liberty.

Imagine such technology under the control of a powerful but evil American leader! a psychopathic American president, perhaps! a scoundrel of dazzling charisma! or a president who was a fool! or even one who was misguided!

Imagine Waco or Ruby Ridge under such circumstances.

Now more than ever, Americans must demand that their liberties be secured and must be very wary about trusting the federal government!

America has never before been in such danger--and the real threat is from within!

21 posted on 11/19/2001 5:39:13 AM PST by Savage Beast
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To: LarryLied
Might need some Marines nearby to drag them away for some sleep every 18 hours or so however.

"Just let me kill one more terrorist sir ... please ... PLEASE ... awwwe what a jip."

22 posted on 11/19/2001 5:39:29 AM PST by Gumption
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To: LarryLied
Time to allow 13 year old boys in the military. They would pay the government to allow them to sit behind a terminal and control a Predator drone.

LOL...ain't that the truth.  I've got one of 'em I'd send to the cause.  Best hand-eye coordination I've ever seen.

23 posted on 11/19/2001 5:41:32 AM PST by Al B.
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To: Eyes Now Opened
Video please!
24 posted on 11/19/2001 5:50:38 AM PST by RushingWater
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To: dighton
"This is modern warfare at work." <>p> Thanks to the creativity of that 'evil' military-industrial complex.
25 posted on 11/19/2001 5:56:31 AM PST by aculeus
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Eyes Now Opened
There have been a lot of media complaints that we have had the terrorist leaders in our Predator crosshairs but let them go because of delays in approval.

This article certainly raises the question of whether or not there may have been good reasons for the occasional delay.

27 posted on 11/19/2001 6:31:26 AM PST by Cicero
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Eyes Now Opened
That is the longest run-on paragraph I have ever read. HTML is your friend
29 posted on 11/19/2001 6:46:51 AM PST by Enemy Of The State
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To: Eyes Now Opened
That was a great read. Thanks!
30 posted on 11/19/2001 6:56:20 AM PST by alnick
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To: Eyes Now Opened
This is a very interesting article and thank you for posting it. We got the bombing "mastermind" Atef and around 100 others. They are living in the past, we aren't the Russians and Clinton is no longer president. Osama and Co. have miscalculated so bad that they are bringing down their Taliban hosts. Also, worldwide jihad hasn't broken out. Too bad for them.
31 posted on 11/19/2001 7:00:25 AM PST by xJones
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To: Deutsch
Such power and such terrifying technology are unprecidented in history.
32 posted on 11/19/2001 7:03:54 AM PST by Savage Beast
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To: NittanyLion
The fetching Mrs. Poohbah observed that this was an example of the "Couch Potato & Remote Control" Generation at work. In the future...we won't need the F-15s, everything will be unmanned.
33 posted on 11/19/2001 7:26:28 AM PST by Poohbah
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To: Savage Beast
Wow, as if Waco could be any worse than it was.

Here's a REALLY scary thought: you can put together a lot of this sort of capability with stuff from Radio Shack and the local model & hobby shop.

Imagine terrorists, foreign or domestic, with this sort of gear.

34 posted on 11/19/2001 7:30:05 AM PST by Poohbah
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To: Poohbah
In the future...we won't need the F-15s, everything will be unmanned.

That's also from necessity - there are practical limits for manned flight, namely the G-forces pilots can withstand. Future warplanes may easily exceed those forces...

35 posted on 11/19/2001 7:31:03 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: Eyes Now Opened
This is beyond James Bond, this ROBOBOND!
36 posted on 11/19/2001 7:35:57 AM PST by lavaroise
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To: Poohbah
Atef's last words: "Somebody set us up the bomb."

What do you suppose was the last thing that went through his mind, like a 2 pound piece of shrapnel, maybe?

37 posted on 11/19/2001 7:36:34 AM PST by Mark17
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To: Poohbah
The fetching Mrs. Poohbah observed that this was an example of the "Couch Potato & Remote Control" Generation at work. In the future...we won't need the F-15s, everything will be unmanned.

The recruiters will be asking, "What video games have you mastered, and how long have you been playing?" It's an incredible world...

38 posted on 11/19/2001 7:36:43 AM PST by NittanyLion
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To: Mark17
What do you suppose was the last thing that went through his mind, like a 2 pound piece of shrapnel, maybe?

Better than the last thing to go through Princess Diana's mind: the windshield :o)

39 posted on 11/19/2001 7:40:48 AM PST by Poohbah
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To: NittanyLion
Wonder if the last thing they said at Predator HQ just before the bombs hit was "You ARE the weakest link. G'Bye."
40 posted on 11/19/2001 7:42:31 AM PST by Poohbah
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To: Vigilanteman
Duh, I think we get it by now, learn to put mental paragraphs in your head. And learn to read prior posts, before posting.
41 posted on 11/19/2001 7:42:41 AM PST by skateman
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To: Poohbah
Here's a REALLY scary thought: you can put together a lot of this sort of capability with stuff from Radio Shack and the local model & hobby shop.

You can buy a satellite from Radio Shack?

Do the boosters come with it or are they purchased separately (Rockets-r-us)? ;-)

Actually, what makes Predator and Dark Star so effective are the secure, real-time satellite communications. Something a radio controlled device wouldn't have.

42 posted on 11/19/2001 7:44:48 AM PST by TomB
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To: NittanyLion
This also suggests a new TV game show: Survior Al-Qaeda Edition. Terrorists vie to survive the various challenges, such as "evade the Special Forces sniper team," "conduct a satellite telephone conversation without the NSA listening in," and "dodge the GBU-15 strike," while voting each other out of their caves, and the winner gets $1,000,000...only to find out that the bills have been soaked in PETN (the main ingredient of det cord) and there's a mercury switch fuse :o)
43 posted on 11/19/2001 7:45:53 AM PST by Poohbah
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To: TomB
Well, you don't have to buy a whole satellite these days; you just need to lease a few channels on a commercial bird.
44 posted on 11/19/2001 7:47:08 AM PST by Poohbah
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To: Poohbah
That would make it rather easy to trace though. With a limited number of transponders on a limited number of birds, a terrorist organization would find it rather difficult to keep their activities secret.

The reason the military launches their own satellites is that commercial sats aren't very secure.

45 posted on 11/19/2001 7:51:45 AM PST by TomB
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To: NittanyLion
bttt
46 posted on 11/19/2001 7:54:23 AM PST by the bottle let me down
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To: LarryLied
Time to allow 13 year old boys in the military. They would pay the government to allow them to sit behind a terminal and control a Predator drone.

Lousy idea. Why let those @#$@@!! kids have all the fun? I was blowin' away Tie Fighters before blowin' away Tie Fighters was cool...

47 posted on 11/19/2001 7:54:52 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: TomB
No, the reason the military launches its own satellites is that they need guaranteed bandwidth availablity--they don't want their pictures of Atef getting blown to smithereens preempted by some guy broadcasting "Ishtar."

As for making it secure, there are a number of rather good encryption algorithms out there. Ecryption on both ends of the conversation is what makes the content secure--not the bird itself.

48 posted on 11/19/2001 7:56:45 AM PST by Poohbah
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To: Deutsch
Besides Rocket Technology via Dr. Von Braun, the Germans also had the first operational jets, though it was too late to help them. It sure as hell helped us.
49 posted on 11/19/2001 8:08:11 AM PST by ohioman
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To: Poohbah
As for making it secure, there are a number of rather good encryption algorithms out there. Ecryption on both ends of the conversation is what makes the content secure--not the bird itself.

That assumes the NSA cannot break those algorithms. However, since one of the main advantages of Predator is that no one knows it is there, bouncing a signal off a commercial bird lets you know it is there in the first place, and makes locating it much easier. We wouldn't be interested in the information in the drone, only that it is operating.

And this, of course, debunks your earlier statement that "you can put together a lot of this sort of capability with stuff from Radio Shack and the local model & hobby shop."

50 posted on 11/19/2001 8:20:08 AM PST by TomB
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