Rumor: Location of secret US drone base in Saudi Arabia revealed by Bing search

Finding a top-secret American drone base is allegedly a Bing search away.

UNCONFIRMED: A secret drone base in Saudi Arabia can be seen using Bing Maps.

The secrecy of the United States' drone-warfare program took a hit recently with the leak of an Obama administration memo detailing the legal justifications for killing suspected terrorists in foreign countries and the revelation that a secret U.S. drone base exists in Saudi Arabia. Now, Noah Shachtman at Wired is claiming to have found said drone base using little more than a Bing Maps search.

Saudi drone base

The New York Times first reported the existence of a CIA-run drone base in Saudi Arabia, in which air strikes against targets in neighboring Yemen are conducted, including the operation that killed the U.S.-born al-Qaida operative Anwar al-Awlaki. The base was supposedly built two years ago under the leadership of Obama counterterrorism guru and CIA director nominee John O. Brennan, but its location was kept classified, allegedly with the help of several media outlets.

Bing it

A Bing Maps image of the supposed base features what appears to be a runway, several large "clamshell" sheds and dozens of other long, trailer-like structures. The buildings are located miles from any road or town, and, from a distance, blend in with the surrounding sand remarkably. Wired reports that a "pair of former American intelligence officers" believe the image shows a U.S. drone base.

"I believe it's the facility that the U.S. uses to fly drones into Yemen," one of the officer told Wired. "It's out in eastern Saudi Arabia, near Yemen and where the bad guys are supposed to hang out. It has those clamshell hangars, which we've seen before associated with U.S. drones."

See the supposed base in Bing Maps



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