Libyan rebels used drones bought off the internet
Although Libyan rebels have been celebrating their advance into the capital of Tripoli this week, just a few weeks ago, they had a problem. Outgunned and poorly trained, Libya’s ragtag opposition was the object of pitying—if not unsympathetic—reports by the journalists covering their seemingly hapless efforts to advance and hold ground against Gadhafi’s professional forces, who were better trained and better equipped.
Naturally, the rebels turned to the Internet for help. In June, members of the Libyan National Transition Council were “searching the Web,” the New York Times reports, where they found information about a surveillance drone—“essentially a tiny, four-rotor helicopter dangling a pod carrying stabilized-image day- and night-vision cameras”—made by Aeryon Labs of Waterloo, Ontario.
That’s how Charles Barlow, a former Canadian army officer who previously served with the United Nations in Syria, found himself on a boat to Misrata, Libya, in July, delivering a miniature surveillance drone to the rebels.