Al Qaeda's tips for dodging drones

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 22, 2013 05:56 hrs

London: A list of 22 tips used by al-Qaeda for dodging drone attacks has been found hidden inside a manila envelope in a building abandoned by Islamists in Mali.

The document includes advice such as 'hide under thick trees', which is believed to be Osama bin Laden's contribution, and instructions for setting up a 'fake gathering' using dolls to 'mislead the enemy'.

According to the Telegraph, the list found in a building in Timbuktu, the ancient city occupied by Islamists in 2012, is believed to have been abandoned as extremists fled a French military intervention last month.

It is a photo copy of a tip-sheet authored by a Yemeni extremist that has been published on some jihadi forums.

The list reflects how al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghbreb anticipated a military intervention that would make use of drones, as the war on terror shifts from the ground to the air, the report said.

According to the report, while some of the tips are outdated, they suggest the Islamists in Mali are responding to the threat of drones with sound, common-sense advice that might help them survive in desert in between attacks.

The author of the tip-sheet found in Timbuktu is Abdallah bin Muhammad, the nom de guerre for a senior commander of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based branch of the terror network.

The document was first published in Arabic on an extremist website on June 2, 2011, a month after bin Laden's death, according to Mathieu Guidere, a professor at the University of Toulouse.

Prof Guidere runs a database of statements by extremist groups, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and he reviewed and authenticated the document which was found by an international news agency, the report said.

The drone tip-sheet, discovered in the regional tax department occupied by Abou Zeid, shows how familiar al-Qaeda has become with drone attacks, it added.

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