The Washington Post reports on the growing network of U.S. Special Forces in Africa, which track and target Islamist groups in so-called “failed states”.
These surveillance operations are centered on unarmed turboprop aircraft disguised as private planes. “Equipped with hidden sensors that can record full-motion video, track infrared heat patterns, and vacuum up radio and cellphone signals, the planes refuel on isolated airstrips favored by African bush pilots, extending their effective flight range by thousands of miles”.
About a dozen air bases have been established in Africa since 2007. These small-scale operations, overseen by U.S. Special Forces, have intensified in recent months, demonstrating their central role in the Obama administration’s national security strategy.