Reports are emerging suggesting that secret US military intelligence aircraft were used to find and locate Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of attempting to set off a crude car bomb in Times Square. The CBS affiliate in New York reported today: "In the end, it was secret Army intelligence planes that did him in. Armed with his cell phone number, they circled the skies over the New York area, intercepting a call to Emirates Airlines reservations, before scrambling to catch him at John F. Kennedy International Airport." The post at 5:34 PM was titled "Army Intelligence Planes Led To Suspect's Arrest." But then at 6:21 PM, the article's title was changed to "Total Time Of Investigation: 53 Hours, 20 Minutes: Faisal Shahzad In Custody After Nearly Fleeing United States." As Rayne observed on FireDogLake, the paragraph about the Army planes was deleted from the CBS story. Screenshot of the original post here.Read the whole thing HERE.
A US Special Operations Force source told me that the planes were likely RC-12s equipped with a Guardrail Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) system that, as the plane flies overland "sucks up" digital and electronic communications. "Think of them as manned drones. They're drones, but they have men sitting in them piloting them and they can be networked together," said the source. "You have many of them--four, five, six of them--and they all act as a node and they scrape up everything, anything that's electronic and feed it back." The source added: "It sucks up everything. We've got these things in Jalalabad [Afghanistan]. We routinely fly these things over Khandahar. When I say everything, I mean BlueTooth would be effected, even the wave length that PlayStation controllers are on. They suck up everything. That's the point."
Guardrail has been used for years by the US military. In recent years, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military has also used the "Constant Hawk" and "Highlighter" aerial sensor platforms. All of these programs have recently undergone a series of upgrades.
So were US special forces involved with Shahzad's arrest?
Friday, May 07, 2010
Posted by Welshman at 4:07 PM