News / Africa

Report: US Expands Air Surveillance Across Africa

U.S. Surveillance Facilities in Africa
U.S. Surveillance Facilities in Africa
VOA News
The Washington Post reports the U.S. military has set up small air bases across Africa to conduct surveillance of terrorist groups.

The newspaper, quoting U.S. and African officials, says about a dozen bases have been set up since 2007 in a number of countries, including Burkina Faso, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and the Seychelles.

A PC-12 Pilatus on the runway at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)A PC-12 Pilatus on the runway at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)
x
A PC-12 Pilatus on the runway at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)
A PC-12 Pilatus on the runway at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)
Instead of drones, The Post says the surveillance is conducted by small planes - usually single-engine PC-12s with only a pilot aboard. The report says the unarmed planes are equipped to record video, track infrared heat patterns and catch radio and cellphone signals.

A spokesman for the Kenyan Defense Forces, Colonel Cyrus Oguna, denied that there are U.S. air bases in Kenya.

"As far as we are concerned, U.S. is not using any Kenyan air space or any bases from where they can be able to launch observation vessels.  However, I know that we do have bilateral arrangements in terms of sharing information and intelligence to fight terror," he said.

U.S. officials in Washington declined to answer reporters' questions Thursday about the newspaper report.

According to The Post, U.S. military Special Operations forces supervise the surveillance, but the program relies heavily on private military contractors and support from African troops.

  • A single-engine turboprop PC-12, the type of plane the U.S. military is reportedly using to record video, track infrared heat patterns, and catch radio and cellphone signals in Africa.
  • Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army during a meeting with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda and representatives of non-governmental organizations, July 31, 2006, Congo near the Sudan border.
  • Troops from the Central African Republic stand outside a building used for meetings between them and U.S. Army special forces seeking the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, Obo, Central African Republic, April 29, 2012.
  • U.S. Special Forces soldier trains troops from Senegal combat techniques in Kati, Mali, during a joint training exercise with units from several African countries where al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is active, May 12, 2010.
  • Fighters from Islamist group Ansar Dine stand guard as they prepare to hand over a Swiss female hostage in the desert outside Timbuktu, Mali, April 24, 2012.
  • Suspected members of the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram are detained by the military in Bukavu Barracks in Kano state, Nigeria, March 21, 2012.

Targets of the surveillance include al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia, Yemen and Africa's Sahel region, and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa.

U.S. officials have repeatedly warned of the threat to regional stability presented by such groups and others like Nigeria's Boko Haram.

The Post previously reported that the U.S. has a secret program in east Africa and the Arabian peninsula that uses drone airplanes to watch militants in Somalia and Yemen.

The newspaper said its latest report was based on unnamed U.S. military and government officials, African officials, U.S. government contracting documents, unclassified military reports and diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: African from: Africa
June 15, 2012 5:34 PM
Sometimes what US considers terrorist group are truly a genuine oposition to the dictator the US administration supports, and they are helping the regime survive for an exchange the regime allows the US military to have access to their air and land spaces. Ironically there is no legitimate regime in Africa that comes with election. Almost all African regimes come to power by overthrowing the previous regime. Hence, who is terrorist organization, the regime that is doing harm to the population or the freedom fighters defending their civilians?


by: JP from: COLORADO
June 15, 2012 3:41 PM
Kudos to those brave warriors out in harms way protecting once again our leaderships' underlings freedom to have announced - leaked - our hand of cards (security be dammed) to the world and those intent on our demise.

Will the internal bickering at the very top protecting our national interests ever cease and once again focus on America....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid