Monday, March 08, 2004

The hunt for bin Laden intensifies: New hi-tech employed 

The most important question I asked in 2002 before the Iraq War that has gone unanswered is this:

Why now?

Here it comes again.

High-tech snooping for bin Laden

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. forces searching for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden along the mountainous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan will soon implement high-tech surveillance tactics in the region, enabling them to monitor the area 24 hours a day, seven days a week, CNN has learned.

It's believed that the constant surveillance of the border region and the "squeeze play" by U.S. and Pakistani forces surrounding the mountainous frontier will present the best chance ever to net the world's most-wanted terrorist.

Bin Laden has eluded capture since U.S. troops launched a search for him in late 2001.


Among the devices that will be in place within days are U-2 spy planes flying at 70,000 feet, taking pictures, using radar and intercepting communications.

Unmanned Predator drones, flying closer at 25,000 feet, are equipped with cameras that can spot vehicles and people and special radar that can operate through clouds. Some of the Predators may also carry Hellfire missiles.

Ground sensors may also be placed along mountain passes to listen for vehicles.

Data from the planes and sensors will be sent via satellite to analysts for quick action. The U.S. military has bought up satellite transmission capacity in the region, to ensure it can respond quickly.


[General John Abizaid:] "I think that we will make it very painful for al Qaeda between now and the end of the year."

Or, until the election.

Question: Why haven't the techniques described here in this article been used until now?


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