Secret Drone Base Found in Saudi Arabia
On February 4th, 2012 the New York Times reported the existence of a
secret US drone base operating out of Saudi Arabia.
At the request of the Obama Administration, the exact location of the base was not revealed. But, it is not hard to find. Anyone, especially the bad guys, can find it. It is located in an “abandoned” U.S. base left over from the first Gulf War.
The NYT story pictured rubble from a drone strike last Sunday in southwestern Yemen and discussed another targeted Yemeni strike that incinerated 5 men and a camel under some palm trees last August. Both strikes are alleged to have originated from the secret Saudi base.
Drones from the alleged CIA base were used to kill U.S. born al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year old American son in Yemen in 2011.
The evidence isn’t perfect. There is no smoking gun. A drone doesn’t show up on unclassified satellite images. But the circumstantial evidence for its location is compelling.
Finding a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have a standoffish military arrangement at best. Any cooperation with the U.S. is dangerous for the Saudis, both internally and regionally.
That doesn’t leave a lot of places to hide a secret drone base used to kill international terrorists. A large, existing facility makes a logical choice.
There are only a handful of U.S. military bases left in Saudi Arabia. The list is reduced to the one above when isolation and proximity to Yemen are considered.
It is an “old” U.S. air base officially turned over to the Saudis in 2009. It is called King Fahd Air Base or Taif Regional Airport. According to militarybases.com it is “an inactivated military airfield that currently serves for commercial and civilian flights.” Officially, construction there was completed in 1999.
According to globalsecurity.com the airbase is a joint U.S. and Saudi Royal Air Force training center.
The airbase is huge. According to militarybases.com “it holds the record for the largest and widest airport in the world”. The sprawling facility covers 290 square miles! It’s main runway is nearly 2.5 miles long.
Bing Maps labels it as “Taif Regional Airport”, yet no commercial traffic at all shows up on any Google Earth™ images.
The official stories leave much unexplained.
That makes it the perfect place to hide drones.
Google Earth™ Speaks
Above is an isolated, newly constructed facility (built after 2006) hidden within the giant base on its southeastern perimeter. It could be the drone base.
It has 9 bunkers, each just large enough to hold an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It has an unusually large number of gates leading to a short unmarked runway. Though empty now, a large protective rectangular berm could store dangerous explosives away from the UAVs.
There are many reasons to suspect the Saudi air base:
- Base is isolated and close to Yemen
- Base is in pristine, well-kept and well-used condition
- Its large size could easily conceal a small drone base
- There are dozens of large covered bunkers where drones could be hidden
- There is evidence of military counter-terrorism activity at the base
- Top executives from drone maker, BAE Systems, visited the base in March 2012
- There is little evidence of civilian aviation activity
Most areas of the large base have 5 or more high resolution Google Earth satellite images going back to late November of 2002. The newest images were taken on September 19th, 2012.
The base is a dizzying maze of taxiways and large bunkers surrounding two runways. The main one is nearly 2.5 miles long. That’s big!
The base has approximately 30 extra-large bunkers. Each one with 4 hangers that could house large military aircraft, attack jets and/or other military equipment.
There are at least another 25 smaller bunkers on the far west side of the base.
There is evidence of counter-terrorism activities, possibly involving explosives on-board commercial airliners, practiced on the base within the last year:
There is more…
BAE Systems is a “global provider of defence and security products”. Its Board Chairman, CEO, CFO and other top executives were photographed inside of one of the base bunkers in an official corporate news release during a visit in March 2012.
In official remarks Managing Director of BAE Systems Saudi Arabia, Jim McDowell, said “We at BAE Systems are keen to transfer ‘state of the art’ technology and knowledge to partners within Saudi Arabia”.
BAE Systems designs and builds advanced UAV aircraft.
Other defense and security providers are probably working there, but keep their operations secret.
Taif Regional Airport (King Fahd Air Base) has more going on than meets the eye! What little commercial traffic it gets could practically be handled in a parking lot.
The proof isn’t ironclad that this massive air base hides the secret location of a U.S. drone base targeting al-Quida on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorists.
But there is ample evidence of very significant, ongoing military activity at this exceptionally well-maintained base… and…
It is less than 300 miles from Yemen.