21 February 2009 Add all 85 Pakistan airports as possible UAV launch and/or
Obama Widens Missile Strikes Inside Pakistan
By MARK MAZZETTI and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: February 20, 2009
WASHINGTON With two missile strikes over the past week, the Obama
administration has expanded the covert war run by the Central Intelligence
Agency inside Pakistan, attacking a militant network seeking to topple the
Pakistani government. The strikes are another sign that President Obama is
continuing, and in some cases extending, Bush administration policy in using
American spy agencies against terrorism suspects in Pakistan, as he had promised
to do during his presidential campaign.
Under standard policy for covert operations, the C.I.A. strikes inside Pakistan
have not been publicly acknowledged either by the Obama administration or
the Bush administration. Using Predators and the more heavily armed Reaper
drones, the C.I.A. has carried out more than 30 strikes since last September,
according to American and Pakistani officials.
American Special Operations troops based in Afghanistan have also carried
out a number of operations into Pakistans tribal areas since early
September, when a commando raid that killed a number of militants was publicly
condemned by Pakistani officials. According to a senior American military
official, the commando missions since September have been primarily to gather
||Allama Iqbal International
(Lahore), Asad Khel
Bahawalpur, Bandari (Shamsi
- US Predator Base), Bannu,
Chaklala (Islamabad), Chaman,
Dadu West, Dalbandin,
Dera Ghazi Khan,
Dera Ismail Khan,
||Gilgit, Gurha Salim, Gwadar
Jacobabad (Shahbaz Air Base), Jam Nida Northwest, Jinnah International,
Kahlid Army Airfield (Quetta), Kandhkot, Kashmor, Khairpur, Khanpur,
Kharan, Khuzdar, Khewra, Khorewah, Kohat, Kot Addu
Mad Juma, Mandi Bahaduddin, Mangla, Masroor, Mianwali, Minhas, Mir Baz,
Moenjodaro, Multan International, Muzaffarabad
Nawabshah, Nok Kundi, Nushki
Okara, Ormara, Ouzkani
||Panjgur, Pano Aqil Southeast, Parachinar, Pasni, Peshawar
Rahwali, Rajanpur, Rawalakot, Risalpur Cantonment, Robray
Saidu Sharif, Sambazza, Sharea Faisal, Sheikh Zayed, Skardu, Sui, Sukkur
||Talhar, Tarbela Dam, Thal, Thar, Torwam Shabi Khel, Turbat
Walton (Lahore), Wana
18 February 2009. Add Jacobabad and
Pasni bases named in (UK) The Times articles:
See also: The News (PK):
Add Gwadar, Turbat and
See also: Predator base:
15 February 2009
U.S. Airstrike Kills 30 in Pakistan
By PIR ZUBAIR SHAH
Published: February 14, 2009
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Two missiles fired from American drone aircraft
killed more than 30 people, including Qaeda and Taliban fighters, near the
Pakistani border with Afghanistan on Saturday, according to a Pakistani
intelligence official and residents of the area.
New York Times
The American attacks were near the town of Makeen.
The missiles struck three compounds, including one where the leader of the
Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, and foreign and local fighters loyal
to him sometimes gather, the official and residents said.
If Mr. Mehsud was the target of the attack in South Waziristan, it would
be the first time that American missiles were aimed at him, the intelligence
Missile attacks in Pakistan by remotely piloted aircraft operated by the
Central Intelligence Agency have generally been aimed at foreign Qaeda fighters
and Taliban guerrillas from Afghanistan, who take shelter in Pakistan between
raids into their country to fight American and NATO soldiers.
It was unclear if any civilians where killed in Saturdays strikes,
which residents say also hit a madrasa.
The drone attack also comes after a statement on Thursday by Senator Dianne
Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, that the aircraft take off from a base in Pakistan.
As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base,
Ms. Feinstein said during a hearing.
The drone attacks, especially in the last six months, have increased
anti-American sentiment in Pakistan to very high levels, and Ms.
Feinsteins statement is likely to further inflame the protests over
them. Her statement was prominently covered by the Pakistani press on Saturday.
Although many Pakistanis have accused their government of giving quiet approval
for the United States to strike in the tribal areas, they also assumed that
the strikes came from Afghanistan.
In 2008, the American drones carried out more than 30 missile attacks against
Qaeda and Taliban targets in the tribal areas, according to a report by the
Council of Foreign Relations in Washington. Two missile attacks just days
after Mr. Obama was inaugurated indicated that his administration, at least
for now, planned to continue the policy of the Bush administration.
A British technology company and a secretive airforce base in Cambridgeshire
are playing a key role in the CIA's use of robot Predator planes, deployed
to assassinate suspected terrorists overseas,The Observer can reveal.
Photograph by John Chartier
A missile fired from a Predator killed more than 20 innocent people in Pakistan
earlier this month in a botched US bid to kill Ayman al Zawahiri, the deputy
leader of al-Qaeda, and similar attacks have been made in Iraq, Yemen and
on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
The attacks have been condemned by humanitarian organisations, which argue
that extra-judicial killings break international law and have led to the
deaths of innocent civilians.
The Observer has discovered that the computer 'brains' of the unmanned Predators
are made in Towcester, Northamptonshire, by Radstone Technology. The firm
manufactures the computer boards that control the drones and enable the CIA
to target top al-Qaeda suspects. Predators are controlled remotely by satellite
and a joystick. When a target is identified, the Predators fire a Hellfire
These kinds of targeted attacks - with air-to-surface missiles taking the
place of judicial process - appear to be in breach of international law,'
said Amnesty International's UK campaigns director, Stephen Bowen. 'That
up to 22 civilians were also killed in a recent attack makes it all the more
'The government must investigate what role UK-supplied technology has played
in this attack, and whether it breaks arms export laws.'
Equally controversial is the disclosure that images taken by Predators as
they fly across international airspace are beamed back to a top-secret US
base at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire. Staff at the American Joint Analysis
Centre study the images and then decide what action to take.
According to Amnesty, under international standards, extra-judicial killings
are always unlawful, and 'a state of war or threat of war, internal political
instability or any public emergency may not be invoked as a justification
for such executions'.
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Capt. Richard Koll, left, and
Airman 1st Class Mike Eulo perform function checks after launching an MQ-1
Predator unmanned aerial drone Aug. 7, 2007, at Balad Air Base, Iraq. Captain
Koll, the pilot, and Airman Eulo, the sensor operator, will handle the Predator
in a radius of approximately 25 miles around the base before handing it off
to personnel stationed in the United States to continue its mission. Scrambling
to meet commanders' insatiable demands for unmanned aircraft, the Air Force
is launched two new training programs Wednesday Oct. 22, 2008, including
an experimental one that would churn out up to 1,100 desperately needed pilots
to fly the drones over Iraq and Afghanistan. As many as 700 Air Force personnel
have expressed some interest in the test program, which will create a new
brand of pilot for the drones, which are flown by remote control from a base
Amid U.S. Policy Disputes, Qaeda Grows in Pakistan
By MARK MAZZETTI and DAVID ROHDE
June 30, 2008
By late 2005, many inside the C.I.A. headquarters in Virginia had reached
the conclusion that their hunt for Mr. bin Laden had made little progress
since Tora Bora. Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who at the time ran the C.I.A.s
clandestine operations branch, decided in late 2005 to make a series of swift
changes to the agencys counterterrorism operations.
But Mr. Rodriguez believed that the Qaeda hunt had lost its focus on Mr.
bin Laden and the militant threat in Pakistan. So he appointed a new head
of the Counterterrorist Center, who has not been publicly identified, and
sent dozens more C.I.A. operatives to Pakistan. The new push was called Operation
Cannonball, and Mr. Rodriguez demanded urgency, but the response had a makeshift
There was nowhere to house an expanding headquarters staff, so giant Quonset
huts were erected outside the cafeteria on the C.I.A.s leafy Virginia
campus to house a new team assigned to the bin Laden mission. In Pakistan,
the new operation was staffed not only with C.I.A. operatives drawn from
around the world, but also with recent graduates of the Farm,
the agencys training center at Camp Peary in Virginia.
The CIA Quonset Huts:
If Pelosi is right, not deceived by US spies or not disinforming about the
location of the drone base, the base is likely in central Pakistan. However,
as noted above, the drones may be launched by the US Air Force and then handed
off to CIA operators located elsewhere, even within the United States.
This shows some of the central Pakistan bases, and drones may be launched
from them or drone bases could be newly constructed away from Pakistan bases
for concealment against outraged Pakistanis.