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Al-Qaeda set up anti-drone cells, reveal secret U.S. documents

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Al-Qaeda’s leaders have been bolstering their anti-drone efforts, setting up cells of engineers to shoot down, disable or hijack U.S. drones, the Washington Post reported late Tuesday classified documents.

The militant leadership is “hoping to exploit the technological vulnerabilities of a weapons system that has inflicted huge losses against the terrorist network,” the Post said online.

“Although there is no evidence that Al-Qaeda has forced a drone crash or successfully interfered with flight operations, U.S. intelligence officials have closely tracked the group’s persistent efforts to develop a counterdrone strategy since 2010,” the report said, citing the secret documents.

The newspaper also reported that al-Qaeda commanders are keen to achieve “a technological breakthrough (that) could curb the U.S. drone campaign, which has killed an estimated 3,000 people over the past decade.”

Drone strikes have forced al-Qaeda operatives to limit their movements in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and other places.

(With AFP)