Home / world / Drones may very well be game-changer in Somalia’s combat towards al-Shabab

Drones may very well be game-changer in Somalia’s combat towards al-Shabab

A former member of U.S. navy intelligence helps combat one of many deadliest terror teams in Africa. He’s additionally a pioneer within the U.S. navy’s use of drones and is now utilizing that experience to assist Somalia in its combat towards the Al-Qaeda-linked terror group al-Shabab.

The specter of unpredictable violence is ever-present in Somalia. Al-Shabab’s attain is huge and it is likely one of the most organized and harmful of Africa’s militant teams, stories CBS Information correspondent Debora Patta. 

Al-Shabab now not controls the crumbling metropolis of Mogadishu, however has nonetheless been in a position to wreak havoc with its relentless bombing campaigns. Their weapon of selection has been the car bomb, just like the one used with devastating impact on October 14 killing over 500 folks within the capital
CBS Information has been instructed repeatedly that al-Shabab has eyes and ears in every single place. The group’s members mix simply into native communities, and a seemingly quiet street could not look very menacing however can flip nasty instantly. 

Former U.S. navy intelligence officer Brett Velicovich desires to alter that. He has donated industrial drones to the Somali police power and is coaching them to make use of the expertise to fight al-Shabab.

“After they go into completely different areas to clear elements which are underneath Shabab management, they’ll truly fly these drones low and in entrance of them to look out for roadside bombs,” Velicovich stated.

One other al-Shabab tactic is to plant one bomb then, as first responders arrive, detonate one other, killing everybody who rushed to assist.

“The investigators will truly exit and so they’ll fly our drones and so they’ll make it possible for the realm is protected for first responders to come back into,” Velicovich stated.

Somali intelligence has instructed us that al-Shabaab continues to follow its bomb-making expertise again and again till they get it proper. 

Al-Shabab footage reveals how they check certainly one of their bombs on an African peacekeeping convoy. Drone expertise may assist thwart assaults like these.

“It considerably alters the best way they’ll do counter-terrorism work?” Patta requested.

“Precisely. I imply, think about strolling right into a state of affairs the place you do not know if the folks in the home or the compound have weapons or if they’ve explosives, however in case you may see from the air what you might be about to stroll into, that modifications the sport,” Velicovich stated.

Al-Shabab’s bombs are more and more extra complicated and extra highly effective. Easy drone expertise may present a a lot wanted increase for the over-worked, under-resourced Somali counter-terrorism items.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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