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The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "drone" ...

  • Pentagon secretly struck back against Iranian cyberspies targeting U.S. ships

    In the middle of June, tensions were rising between the United States and Iran. Iran had attacked oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, and then downed an expensive, high-tech Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone flying over the Strait, upping the ante of the conflict. Given previous rhetoric from Trump administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against the Iranian regime, the decision to exit the Iran deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the increasingly heavy sanctions on Iran, the Yahoo News team was monitoring for chances to report in more depth on specific Iranian capabilities as well as U.S. plans to counter them. Following the attack on the U.S. drone, Yahoo News began communicating with sources who had extensive detail on a specific unit within the Iranian military in the cross-hairs of the U.S. military, a unit that had advanced its cyber capabilities to the point that it was able to track nearly all ships traveling through the Strait through both social engineering, or pretending to be attractive women engaging with service members traveling on the ships, to actually compromising ship GPS data websites in order to digitally monitor their paths. In the course of reporting, Yahoo News discovered a key, news breaking event—that just hours prior, the U.S. Cyber Command had launched a retaliatory strike aimed at limiting the capabilities of the specific Iranian cyber group the team had already been investigating. Yahoo was the first to break the news of the retaliatory strike, leading dozens of major news outlets to race to match the story. However, given the fact Yahoo News was investigating details into the cyber unit, our story was not only first but best and most detailed. The story demonstrates our ability to jump into the news cycle, provide key breaking news to our readers, as well as dig deep into illuminating new details. The story also revealed that Iranian capabilities to intercept and down drones to study them for espionage purposes was highly advanced, a fact previously unknown. Given President Trump’s recent decision to authorize a strike to kill IRGC Commander Qasem Suleimani, our reporting will continue to provide value to readers, analysts, and other interested parties hoping to better understand Iranian capabilities and how the U.S. might respond to them.
  • The Drone Papers

    The Intercept obtained a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The documents, provided by a whistleblower within the intelligence community who worked on the drone program, offer an unprecedented glimpse into the U.S. military’s kill/capture operations during a key time in the evolution of the drone wars. After six months of reporting by a team of seven, The Intercept published The Drone Papers, a multimedia package of eight articles that revealed a deeply conflicted U.S. military and intelligence community secretly driving a program that kills far more people than the intended targets, causing serious harm to U.S. moral standing and national security. https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/
  • Nation Institute (TomDispatch and The Intercept) coverage of the U.S. Military in Africa

    I wrote an untitled collection of articles for The Nation Institute’s TomDispatch.com and First Look Media’s The Intercept investigating the U.S. military’s extensive and largely secret operations on the African continent. Utilizing documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and from a whistle blower as well as a plethora of open source material, I offered a rare glimpse of the actions of a very secretive military command. Along the way, I revealed covert U.S. drone bases used for targeted killing campaigns from Yemen and Somalia to Iraq and Syria; I exposed unreported drug use and criminal behavior by U.S. forces across Africa; and shined a light on a multitude of missions in which elite U.S. forces trained alongside members of African armies regularly cited by the State Department for human rights abuses; among many other revelations. (While The Intercept may not fit the definition of a small outlet, I generally work alone and receive only spare support beyond editing. And TomDispatch is a truly tiny outlet.) https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/target-africa/ https://theintercept.com/2015/10/21/stealth-expansion-of-secret-us-drone-base-in-africa/ https://theintercept.com/2016/02/10/where-to-invade-next-is-the-most-subversive-movie-michael-moore-has-ever-made/
  • Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency

    Power Wars is a comprehensive investigative history of national security legal policymaking during the Obama presidency. Based on interviews with more than 150 officials and access to numerous internal documents, it takes readers behind the scenes to explain why the administration governed as it did on surveillance, drone strikes, Guantanamo, interrogations, military commissions, secrecy, leak investigations, war powers, and executive power. Bringing large amounts of new information to light about internal deliberations and never-before-reported memos and events, it equips readers to grapple with the recurring accusation that Obama has acted like Bush and to understand the legacy of both presidencies. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316286575
  • Objective Troy: A Terrorist, A President, and the Rise of the Drone

    Objective Troy tells the story of the life and death of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American imam who denounced 9/11 and called for bridge-building between Muslims and the United States, only to leave the U.S., grow steadily more militant and join Al Qaeda in Yemen. He became the most effective recruiter for Al Qaeda in English; actively plotted to kill Americans, including by coaching the underwear bomber who tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit in 2009; and finally became the first American citizen to be deliberately killed in a drone strike, on orders of President Obama in 2011. The book’s title comes from Awlaki’s code name on the government’s kill list: during a frantic 20-month manhunt that engaged all of the intelligence agencies, Awlaki was Objective Troy. Reported all over the United States and in Yemen, Objective Troy is the most detailed and best-documented account of the life of a central figure in the post-9/11 history of terrorism. Among the revelations in the book are: the first account of Awlaki’s embrace of fundamentalist Islam, while a freshman at Colorado State; the real reason that Awlaki left the United States, abandoning a promising career as a mainstream spokesman for American Muslims; an intelligence mistake in the hunt for Awlaki that led to the disastrous unintentional killing by drone of a popular Yemeni deputy governor; and Awlaki’s afterlife on the Internet, including more than 40,000 YouTube videos, now with the added authority of what his admirers see as martyrdom. The book gives the fullest account to date of President Obama’s embrace of the armed drone as a weapon against terrorism and how its performance has fallen short of the government’s claims.
  • Revealed: the private firms tracking terror targets at the heart of US drone wars

    An innovative, complex, long-term investigation into one of the most hidden elements of the US drone war - the use of private contractors to determine targets. We built a unique database and processed over 8 million federal transacting records to locate 10 companies offering imagery analysts to the military and interviewed current and former contractors about their experiences.
  • Hazard Above

    According to a year-long investigation by The Washington Post, hundreds of military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001 and civilian drones are posing a new threat to passenger air traffic in the United States. Drones have revolutionized warfare and are set to revolutionize civil aviation under a 2012 federal law that will allow them to fly freely in American skies. But The Post found that the U.S. military and the Federal Aviation Administration suppressed widespread patterns of safety problems with drones and tried to keep details of accidents and near mid-air collisions a secret. Drawing on more than 50,000 pages of accident investigation reports and other records obtained under FOIA, The Post uncovered more than 400 major military drone crashes worldwide, including 49 in the United States. Some drone models were particularly crash-prone: almost half of the Air Force’s iconic Predator fleet has been destroyed in accidents. The Post published details of 194 of the most serious accidents in an interactive online database, as well as crash-scene photographs, voice-recording transcripts and a video of a stricken Predator drone filming its own fiery breakup over Iraq. The Post also exposed a rash of dangerous encounters between civilian airplanes and drones flown in contravention of FAA rules intended to safeguard U.S. airspace, a problem that has worsened since the series was first published.
  • Drones

    With U.S. officials disclosing scant details of drone strikes targeting suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, NBC News' Investigative Unit went to work to find out what the government wasn't telling us about the program. Over the course of the year, numerous reporters, producers and correspondents contributed to a thorough report that shed light on many different aspects of the program and broke news about the use of the remote-controlled aircraft..
  • THE DRONE WAR

    In February Michael Isikoff broke the story that a confidential white paper from the Justice Department had detailed the legality of drone strikes on American citizens. Isikoff laid out a three-part test that would make targeted killings of Americans lawful. President Obama spoke directly to the contents of the Isikoff report weeks later in a major speech to the National Defense University, defending the drone program, but promising to be more transparent. In June, NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel took an in-depth look into the US drone program in Pakistan. Using a set of classified documents obtained by NBC that detailed more than one hundred drone strikes in the country between 2010 and 2011, Engel was able to show NBC’s viewers that the US doesn’t often know who they are killing, how many people they are killing, and whether or not civilians are a large unintended part of their targeting. In Part II of Engel’s report, he exclusively interviewed senior airman Brandon Bryant, a drone operator, speaking out for the first time about his work over the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bryant brought Engel minute-by-minute through some of the strikes he controlled from 7500 miles away in New Mexico.
  • City cancels plans for Super Bowl drone despite enthusiasm and interest from NOPD, others

    After The Lens began asking questions about New Orleans' plans to use a U.S. Homeland Security Department aerial drone to monitor Super Bowl crowds, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the city is scrapping those plans. The policy change contrasted with the city’s recent efforts to acquire an unmanned aerial vehicle.