Militants Drop Tipsheet for Ducking Drone Attacks

Tips include hiding under trees, painting cars with dirt
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2013 2:11 PM CST
Militants Drop Tipsheet for Ducking Drone Attacks
In this Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 file photo, a U.S. Predator drone flies over the moon above Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Islamic militants fleeing northern Mali left behind a fascinating list—of al-Qaeda's tips for avoiding drone attacks, the AP reports. The tips themselves are nothing new—they've been posted on websites for a couple of years—but with Mali militants having them, it's clear how well-coordinated al-Qaeda is across continents and how good the tips are. One that AP notes: stretching mats on poles over the tops of cars, so drones can't spot them.

Al-Qaeda also advises hiding under trees and "painting" cars in dirt mixed with sugar-water to cover them in dirt. "These are not dumb techniques. It shows that they are acting pretty astutely," says a US colonel. "What it does is, it buys them a little bit more time—and in this conflict, time is key." What's more, the tipsheet notes that drones are valuable because they're relatively cheap, cause few US casualties, and ease "the pressure of public opinion." Click for the full list. (Read more al-Qaeda stories.)

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