September 29th, 2010
10:50 AM ET

Estimates: More drone attacks in September than any other month

The potential plot against Europe was one factor contributing to the uptick this month in missile strikes by unmanned drones against terrorist targets in Pakistan, according to a U.S. official.

"We would be remiss not to try to take action to thwart what might be under way in Europe," said the official.

The official emphasized that the potential plot was not the sole factor.

U.S. officials say they are taking advantage of what they call "precise intelligence."

Most of the drone attacks this year have been focused on North Waziristan, a mountainous area bordering Afghanistan where Pakistani security forces have little control. That has continued to be the pattern this month.

Based on information from Pakistani officials, CNN estimates there have been 20 drone attacks in the area in September alone, a higher number than in any previous month, and more than twice the monthly average.

Acknowledging the spike, one U.S. official told CNN: "Our operational tempo has been up for a while now, we have good information driving it, and given the stakes involved, we hope to keep the pressure on as long as we can."

According to the official, the mix of threats remains the same. It comes from groups like the Haqqani network, al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistan Taliban. The threats they pose are "all deadly," said the official.

Pakistani officials say many recent strikes have been aimed at compounds in or around the town of Miramshah, a stronghold of the Haqqani network.

Western intelligence officials have long regarded the Haqqanis as one of the most dangerous terror groups and have linked them to several attacks in Kabul.

Intelligence analysts point to other reasons for the escalated drone attacks.

They include better information from sources in the border area and better surveillance technology - including the growing use of spy balloons fitted with high-powered cameras.

In addition, the rising number of drone strikes is designed to deprive the Afghan Taliban of "strategic depth" as the Obama administration's campaign to defeat the insurgency enters a crucial phase and tighten the noose on the senior al Qaeda leadership.

Pakistani officials say one strike last weekend killed Sheikh Mohammad Fateh al Masri, described as the group's senior operational commander.

Filed under: Drone strikes
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. bailoutsos

    Derp Yeah, you're right. Civilian deaths have never occurred in any other war in earth's history. You're a dumb, ignorant, reject that doesn't deserve to live in the country that you do. @@@ Yeah, you justified it in your mind, just like a terrorist that has.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. bailoutsos

    Derp Yeah, you're right. Civilian deaths have never occurred in any other war in earth's history. You're a dumb, ignorant, reject that doesn't deserve to live in the country that you do. @@@ Yeah, you justified it in your mind, just like a terrorist has.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. BeDoneWithIt

    Nuke Waziristan into a lifeless wasteland.

    There. I said it. And I'm damned serious!

    This Muslim crap will go on for decades if we don't finish off these animals.

    October 4, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. dindy Sri lanka


    October 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. morris2196

    This increase in drone attacks would not be possible without having better intelligence. In the long run, that increased intelligence may be more important than the drone attacks.

    October 2, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jade

    lol, Military Intelligence: the great Oxymoron

    September 30, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gay-Mullah

    I too like using my religious book for toilet paper, here in Pak land we use our left finger to wipe, so paper is better. I used goats before to lick it but all gone from the flood.

    September 30, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gay-Mullah

    The suffering in the flood zones is what happens when people breed what they can not feed. Like rats do.

    September 30, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Natural disasters and the after effects have no bearing on the stability of the situation beforehand. Because there is a flood, the farmer who loses his sustenance deserves to perish/suffer? I think not.

      October 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gay-Mullah

    Pak justice system is much better – no wasting time with the expensive court system. Pak is like the old west. Justice was swift and it will work in areas of lawlessness. Great job- shoot more terrorist citizens.

    September 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gay-Mullah

    There should be more drone attacks, but aim them at the Saudi.

    September 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SaveHumanity EndSUPPORT2PAKISTANarmyISI

    Why are we giving billions to Pakistan, when the PAkistan Army and ISI are killing Americans and Afghans...while we try to help build Afghanistan- they Pakistanis are destroying Afghan infrastructure...we ignore the Pakistan army/isi(a majority Punjabi instutional and empire) human rights violations against Christians and other Minorities like Balochs, Pashtuns,etc...Why are we funding Pakistani terrorism to kill American and Afghans...why doesn't pakistan close supply routes to Taliban instead of Nato troops...WE know very well food, weapons are not falling from the sky, when the main roads and hilltops into and out of South and North Waziristan are surrounded by Paki the looks require ID to foreign terrorist are not falling in from the sky either....SAVE HUMANITY, save AMERICANS AND AFGHAN LIVES...Take action in N. Waziristan..

    just an example during SWAT operation..

    Paki troops lined up civilians and shooting them dead.

    September 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka


      October 3, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bailoutsos

    Soldiers killing for sport. Soldiers killing each other. Soldiers committing suicide. I think it is past time to bring them all home.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. Pot head god man

    Egyptian drones under way!

    September 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dan in Lafayette,IN


    September 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Hey you Ernie Beatty or whoever you are,will you kindly post under your own name for a change instead of mine so everybody will know what an absolute idiot you are??? I never post anything in favor of this obnoxious war!

      September 29, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Of course you post things in favor of war, Dan you puss. You've always been in favor of Hussein, the Taliban and al Qaeda winning the war on terror against us. You're a traitor, it's as simple as that.

      September 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dan in Lafayette,IN

    Soon all you terrorist of 360 degree truth of killing and bombing innocent people will be hiding in caves from the many drones that will be raining fire down on your heads as what was written by our pot head man gods!

    September 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pot head god man

      More drones, this sht is getting good.

      September 29, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  16. bailoutsos

    "The potential plot against Europe' -- Bombing in Afghanistan will not help. The terrorists that are planning an attack could be anywhere in the world, say Canada. America should start bombing al Qaeda cells in Canada. Don't be worried if a few Canadians get killed.

    September 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      If you tell us where you're holed up, I suggest we start there.

      September 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • bailoutsos

        Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever... If you tell us where you're holed up, I suggest we start there. @@@ Right next door to you. Bring it on.

        September 29, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Canada does not allow people to cross its border and murder our soldiers and citizens. Canada can, and does police itself. There is no law and order along the Afganistan border and one would have to be a fool to allow the murder of there troops by an enemy that simply runs back across the border to rest and rearm for the next attack. If pakistan polices its border areas, these raids against enemies of both Pakistan and the U.S. would be unnecessary.

      September 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Pakistan has alot more concerns with being a sorry ass pos country first, with their inbreds living in mud houses

        September 29, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka


      October 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Bledsoe

    I guess that we're going to see a lot of these same idiots blog in here with their sickening bravado over those cursed drones and we call ourselves a Christian society!!! Can anyone imagine Jesus condoning the hurling of 500lb.bombs on defenseless people from those cursed planes??? I cannot!!!

    September 29, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Oh my dearest Bledsoe do you not know that Jesus had foretold of these times and he did not tell us to let these people who want to kill the Christian way of life to just have their way with the world! These terrorists and anti-Christians/Jews who would bomb and kill anybody anywhere just to spread fear, bring them joy and think they have done God a favor as he had said! These people must be stopped and Pakistan's army should hook up with the NATO forces and go into North Waziristan and kill every one of these, as you say, UNGODLY PEOPLE!!!

      September 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        Sorry Bledsoe,I didn't post the above.The ony UNGODLY PEOPLE here are those right-wing thugs in Washington who are not one iota better than the Germans during WW2!!!

        September 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        The only ungodly people are the LEFT WING THUGS like Dan who want us to lose this war. They will be the destruction of us all. It's too bad we can't airdrop them on Waziristan and watch the hunt.

        September 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • UR'N Idiot

        See that's the problem. You believe in fairy tales. Bombs aren't imaginary and neither are the people they target. Do you have any idea how many millions of people in the history of time have been killed in the name of religion? Guess what? Jesus hasn't come back yet. I've got my money on it not happening. So...what'd ya say we let it rain steel and fire in the meantime? I suppose if your views make you good, then my views must make me bad...and ya see, the world is in harmony b/c there is no ying without a yang. When all the dust clears, I plan to be part of the team left standing. Taking the fight to the enemy, not allowing them to rest without worry, not allowing them to congregate without fear of death from above....that is 100% the correct approach. Feel free to pray for me if you want.

        September 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Braveheart

    I think we should fill Pakistan's skies with hundreds of thousands of drones and let them do death and destruction in the uncontrolled areas of Northern Waziristan and turn the territory into a blazing inferno, just to let the tallyban know we mean business. Remember, not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims!

    September 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sayed

      @Braveheart: All Terrorists are mulims? What a stupid, silly comment? Is IRA muslim? The rapists in Chad army are muslim? Was Timothy mcVeigh muslim? Are serial child molester priest muslims? Are serial rapits in America muslim? I mean what a idiotic comment by an idiot. For the same crime every one is called something different but a muslim is called Terrorits. So for example Timothy McVeigh is not a Terrorist but Oklahoma bomber. IRA is dissident organization etc etc.
      Now as far as filling the skies of Pakistan with Drones you cannot do that because in reality US Army cant even handle the rag tag militia, you really think they are going to go to war with professional Pakistan army? Stop talking silly and start thinknig wisely...!

      September 29, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        Not all terrorists are muslim (although the vast majority are), but it sure seems like all Pakis are terrorists sympathizers.

        September 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • I Don't Really Care

        The non-Muslim terrorists that you have mentioned do not number in the hundreds of thousands. I'm not saying all Muslims are terrorists, but I do believe Braveheart makes a more valid point.

        September 30, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • LOWA

      braveheart...some of these Muslim terrorists are in your country too .They come like refugees or sometimes like students. So they too are planning from inland what do next if the Afghan war is winning by troops. IT IS IMPORTANT TO CHECK ON BOTH SIDES.

      October 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka


      October 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  19. LarryKegel(US Army)

    With these drones We will be keeping the Tarriest so busy looking for a attack with them... That They won't have time to train to fight against us!!! It is only a matter of time that They run out of areas to train in...

    September 29, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      Will you stop trying to make me look stupid by your idiotic comments? You're wrong and you know it!!!

      September 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        I think you make yourself look stupid every time you post, impostor.

        September 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sayed

      Apparanlty they are busy kiling American soldiers since last month was the hights tool on US soldiers. Pakistani Army and people have given the biggest sacrifice againts these pig$. They have lost more soldiers then NATO forces combined. Taliban are blasting bombs in Pakistani cities every other day since they are feeling the wrath of Pakistani army and if you are a fool who doesnt knwo what a newspaper is then you probably dont know that. So stop talking silly. The only army that defeated these miliia in the last 10 years of US occupation of afghanistan is the Pak army. What has US been doing for past 10 years? They havent even secured 50% of Afghanistan. If you have been reading newspapers Taliban are slowly taking over. Again the only army that defeated them is the Pak army from their areas.

      The myth of American power and NATO is shattered. you guys talk about Taliban like they are equal army with F-16s and tanks. SHAME ON YOU. The US generals themselves claim there is no military solution to this problem which is another way of saying, hey we are not going to win this war througy sheer military power. So Larry, listen to those who know more then you what they are talking about.

      All of you moron out here, start reading the news papers in details since the devil is in teh details...!

      September 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        The only myth, moron, is that Pakistan can actually control its own territory.
        If Pakistan's allowed us to chase the terrorists back into Pakistan where they're given safe harbor, this war would be over very quickly.

        But no! We send helos across the border to kill the terrorists conducting attacks in Afghanistan and all Pakistan does is complain. It's as if they intentionally shield the terrorists in a complicated effort to play both sides of the fence–they want American $$$ for their alleged help on the war on terror, but don't want to offend the terrorists for fear of more internal attacks.

        IMO, we should be treating the Pakistan government like an unfriendly one and simply invade and be done with it.

        September 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        Sorry Sayed,I did not post the above but I think I know who did.This jerk is trying to make me look stupid.For the record,I agree with you,Sayed as I know that you're quite right.

        September 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        And now I have to leave in my black helicopter to join a Tea Party rally with the other Washing left wing thugs in the MIC.
        I hope my tinfoil hat doesn't blow off.

        (Obviously, I didn't write that message above. The imbecile impostor may agree with your Paki defeatist views, but I don't.)

        September 29, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • seriously?

        feeling a little defensive, are we? you don't seem to have a clue what you are talking about... first of all, if you were really smart, you would know that you can't get all of the facts or details from a newspaper (in fact, most newspapers only print what their owners/editors want them to, which is often politically motivated). if you actually believe that newspapers still print detailed and accurate stories then you are basically the equivalent of a small child from a mental capacity standpoint–i imagine you have an imaginary friend who agrees with everything you say, too. and oh, by the way, there is a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that the Pakistani military helps the terrorists in these remote areas as much as they publicly appear to hurt them. reality sucks, huh?

        September 30, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Usgirl

        I have looked and looked all through the Sears catalog, but I can't find a hights tool....what is it exactly??

        September 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Someone whocares

        We(US Army) can win any part of the world in less then 7 days, and Pakistan in less then few hours, but the problem is we do not like to kill innocent people and we wish to win there hearts rather then Land. One thing more dead people do not make a country but dead Talibans, help to make a great country.
        Go east or west US Army is the best,

        October 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • dindy Sri lanka

        Sayed who ever you are stop underestimating any soldier.. This is not a cricket match just to say whose batting is good and whose balling is bad etc. Do not talk like a child. Every soldiers life is in danger when there is a war. Respect them no matter which nationality they belong. If they are there to fight against terrorism honestly respect them.

        October 3, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      Soldiers killing for sport. Soldiers killing each other. Soldiers committing suicide. I think it is time to bring them all home.

      September 30, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
      • dindy Sri lanka

        bailoutsos.....not every one is like that .

        October 3, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
      • Derp

        Yeah, you're right. Civilian deaths have never occurred in any other war in earth's history. You're a dumb, ignorant, reject that doesn't deserve to live in the country that you do.

        October 3, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • bailoutsos

        Derp Yeah, you're right. Civilian deaths have never occurred in any other war in earth's history. You're a dumb, ignorant, reject that doesn't deserve to live in the country that you do. @@@ Yeah, you justified it in your mind, just like a terrorists.

        October 4, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      Just posted on CNN "NATO raid left four civilians dead - including two children " - These people had nothing to do with 9/11.

      September 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • silvereagle

      If the USA would get off its ass and bomb the hell out of pakistan this would be over in a week.Then send in the drones and mop up whats left.I enjoyed watching the lazer fired vehicle that was on tv last night.That thing takes out roadside bombs in a second.

      October 4, 2010 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |