With New Mini-Satellites, Special Ops Takes Its Manhunts Into Space
Some of the beacons use infrared flashes to signal their location; in 2009, al-Qaida propagandists claimed they found them all over villages that had been hit with U.S. drone strikes. Others are implanted into seemingly-innocent commercial electronics. Under “TTL examples,” Richardson’s presentation (.pdf) showed pictures of a cell phone and a key fob, like the kind used to open a car. Still other tags are affixed to cars or people, and transmit their whereabouts using satellite or CDMA, GPRS, and other cellular networks.
Until 2009, the market for these tags was dominated by the secretive, Virginia-headuqartered Blackbird Technologies, Inc., which counts a former chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center as a executive. That year, the firm won a contract from the Navy for up to $450 million in TTL equipment.
This along with the Biometric technology and techniques developed, deployed and successfully leveraged in Iraq and Afghanstan are driving the “Black Helicopter” crowd crazy.