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NSA journalist's report says US govt. orders drone strikes based on cell phone location data

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 - 12:13pm IST | Agency: ANI

The US government has been allegedly ordering some drone strikes based on the suspect's cell phone location data, a report by NSA journalist Glenn Greenwald has claimed.

Greenwald, who helped reveal the NSA secrets, in his latest venture, The Intercept, published the report, which stated that the government allegedly launches the strikes without necessarily confirming the location of the suspects themselves.

According to Fox News, the documents revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden also pointed that the US spy agency used data-tracking in locating and targeting terror suspects, but Greenwald's report raised new questions about the accuracy of that data. Greenwald's report quoted unnamed former drone operators and other officials that the NSA uses a 'complex analysis of electronic surveillance' to pinpoint drone strike targets, but the CIA and US military don't always confirm who the target is with informants on the ground, raising concerns about missiles hitting unintended targets.

The intercept report detailed how some Taliban leaders have caught onto the NSA's methods, and have tried to evade tracking by purchasing multiple SIM cards and mixing them up. 

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman with the National Security Council, Caitlin Hayden defended the administration's approach to these strikes, and said that their assessments are not based on a single piece of information and that they gather and scrutinise information from a variety of sources and methods before drawing conclusions. 

However, in the Intercept article, Hayden declined to say on the record whether strikes are ordered without the use of human intelligence, the report added.

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