The expanding U.S drone war in the Middle East has sparked controversy back at home, with many Americans protesting against the unmanned airstrikes. The attacks, which are carried out from a network of secret bases around the world, have been scrutinized for their lack of transparency with their "kill list" and ability to supersede the judicial system and assassinate any U.S. citizens that are involved with terrorist groups.
To top it off, many are incensed with the accidental killings of civilians that occur during drone strikes, causing not only major blowback in other countries, but also helping al-Qaeda recruitment numbers increase.
Luckily, drones are a rarity here in the United States, speculated to have been used for only the second time against a person in the United States, during the search for Christopher Dorner a couple weeks back before his death.
But what would happen if drones suddenly become commonplace here in the United States, used from anything to finding cow thieves to getting a lock on someone who hasn't paid a parking ticket in a few months? Well, in the unlikely chance that this happens, militants from the Middle East have released a PDF showing a list of tips on how they evade drone strikes.
The cheatsheet, which consists of 22 techniques, includes tips such as hiding under thick trees, avoiding cell phone use, entering places with multiple entrances/exits, and spreading reflective pieces of glass on a car/roof of building,
Also, there's staying in the shadows, using natural barricades (like forests and caves) when training or gathering, and using smoke as cover in areas that are frequently targeted.
While most of the advice might sound like they are on the defensive, there are several tips that are meant to be aggressive—using jamming equipment, and forming fake gatherings of dolls and statutes outside to fool the drones while attacking.
Also, discovering the presence of drones through networks and then warning others of their movements, forming anti-spying groups to look for spies and agents, and placing a group of skilled snipers in low areas to hunt the drone.
So, in case you ever find yourself being chased down by a drone, you now have a few tips to protect yourself. In any case, Retired Col. Cedric Leighton, a former Air Force intelligence officer that worked on the American drone program, believes that these tactics might not be useful for everyone:
"They are good for people who are in a desert environment, who are trying to avoid drones -- but there are a lot of limitations to them. The drones are fairly effective," he said.
But the again, he used to work for the drone program, so he might just be blowing his horn a bit.
You know how it is with the government.
Make sure to check out the full terrorist cheatsheet for more details.