I will tell you what makes my day. Reading a headline and saying to myself, my readers saw that coming weeks or even months ago. Am happy to report that that has been happening a lot in recent days… A LOT.
An armed drone in flight and headed to a target.
Even more interesting are currently unfolding events that back up the contents of the most sensitive book I have ever penned, Chilling Westgate Secrets Revealed that unravels the complexity of the truth behind that most terrifying terrorist attack in Kenyan history. The following events will make plenty of sense to those who have read the book which unfortunately is no longer available; you just have to find somebody who purchased it when it was available.
• The Americans have really stepped up efforts to get to the overall leader of al Shabaab Ahmed Abdi Godane. A devastating drone attack late Sunday hit a target deep in the southwestern port in Somalia, called Barawe and it is still not clear whether or not the al Shabaab supremo who was the main target was killed or got away yet again. The US military have told the media that they are still assessing the results of that particular attack.
• Top commanders of al Shabaab including Godane met only last week for an emergency meeting after Ethiopia formally joined AMISOM in Somalia. That is the international force that includes KDF soldiers. Interestingly it is widely believed that many drone attacks against the al Shabaab are being launched using bases in Ethiopia.
What are drones, some people have been asking? These are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A drone is in fact an aircraft without a human pilot on board. It is important to remember that although they are unmanned, they are not un-piloted - trained crew at base steer the craft, analyze the images which the cameras send back and act on what they see.
In most cases, just like an aircraft it drops its’ load and returns to base.
Less known by most is a drones’ use in surveillance operations where it provides troops with a 24-hour "eye in the sky", seven days a week. A drone can stay aloft for up to 17 hours at a time, loitering over an area and sending back real-time imagery of activities on the ground.
A curious report appeared in the Reuters website last year where it was reported that Kenya had admitted that it was using its’ own drones to launch attacks against militants in Somalia. Believable except for one tiny detail. A single drone costs in the region of $12.5 million. That would make a major dent on the entire defence budget in the banana republic with just a small fleet wiping out the whole defence kitty. If Kenya indeed has them then all I can say is that this was quite a donation. These Americans really don’t spare any expense in ensuring the safety of their nationals and most Kenyans would be wishing that the GOK borrow a leaf here and address the unacceptable living in fear that is the norm for most Kenyans these days.