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Australian spy base guiding US drone strikes on Taliban

Last Updated: Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 12:56

Sydney: Central Australia`s Pine Gap spy base played an important role an important role in the United States` controversial drone strikes, which involved the `targeted killing` of al-Qaeda and Taliban chiefs.

A former official at the Australian-American base have described the facility`s success in locating and tracking al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.

He added that the facility`s success was outstanding in even locating other insurgent activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

According to, a primary function of the top-secret signals intelligence base near Alice Springs is to track the precise geolocation of radio signals.

These include hand-held radios and mobile phones, in the eastern hemisphere, from the Middle East across Asia to China, North Korea and the Russian far east.

This information has been used to identify the location of terrorist suspects, which is then fed into the United States drone strike programme and other military operations, the report said.

A former Pine Gap operator said that the Taliban know that they are been tracked, but they still have to use radios and phones to conduct their operations; they can`t avoid that.

According to the report, Pine Gap`s operations often involve sifting through vast quantities of `noise` to find elusive and infrequent signals, the report added.


First Published: Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 12:12

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