The problematic use of “drones” to prosecute the U.S. war on terror is very much in the news again. On February 7, during a hearing that was repeatedly interrupted by protesters, senators questioned John Brennan, President Obama’s CIA director-designate, about the administration’s heavy reliance on “targeted killings” by unmanned aircraft.
The targeting by American Predator and Reaper UAVs of terrorists along the Afghan-Pakistan border is being aided by GPS tracking devices placed covertly in the suspects’ vehicles, according to media reports.
With America on a major terror alert for the commemoration yesterday of the anniversary of the September 11 attacks (U.S. officials raised the warning for the first time to Code Orange, just one tier below the highest level of danger), the focus that would have been placed on security anyway this week took on a new and palpable urgency.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is taking over security checks of passengers and baggage at New York City heliports, following warnings that Al-Qaeda has considered using tourist helicopters as weapons.