Report Details Secret War in Somalia
Drone War Statistics Analyzed
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
MQ 9 Reaper or Avenger
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has released a new report that attempts to rack up statistics related to the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) campaign in Somalia. The UK based non-profit attempts to piece together what they and others consider to be an escalating war using open source reporting and careful analysis.

What the report concludes is:

1) Between eight and 20 US counter-terrorism attacks have taken place in Somalia between 2007 and 2012.

2) 46-162 people are reported killed in these events, mostly alleged militants.

3) 11-59 of those killed are reported to have been civilians.

4) The total number of casualties may be higher, as some reports simply state ‘many killed’ and other attacks may be unrecorded.

5) Reports indicate that up to six British citizens may have been killed by US strikes.

Careful analysis of counter-terrorism operations is important to understand foriegn policy and often the violent reaction that comes from faceless violence done in remote areas.

So far, two sources have led the way on reporting Sean Naylor of the Army Times and Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal. Both are pro-military and have excellent access to behind the scenes facts. This report makes the mistake of confusing Naylor and Roggio's well sourced reporting with Jeremy Scahill's confused and inaccurate report written during his brief visit to Mogadishu.

Much of the real activity of JSOC and OGA is not covered in this report since it focuses primarily on kinetic activity not intelligence gathering. America's covert activities range from high level sat analysis, to ELINT tracking of mobile phones, HUMINT penetration of al-Shabaab, training, support of proxy forces to direct insertion for CAS. Much of the covert activity links to overt programs for training, diplomacy, USAID, forward mentoring and even information operations provided to AMISOM.

Drone strikes are just the most visible part of the campaign in Somalia to eliminate the East African al Qaeda cell responsible for the 1998 bombing of two US embassies and a failed attempt on a third. Al-Shabaab has willingly put themselves in the cross hairs by officially joining al Qaeda. The increased concerns that the US, UK and other Western nations have passport holders inside Somalia has also ramped the importance of actionable intelligence from the region.

Their release consists of an excellent timeline with cites and also include a simplistic history of Somalia that does little to provide insightful information and a estimate that six UK citizens were killed in Somalia by US and allied drone strikes.