Iran Says It’s Recovered Data From Captured U.S. Spy Drone & Begun Building a Copy
TEHRAN, Iran (The Blaze/AP) — Iran claimed Sunday that it had reverse-engineered an American spy drone captured by its armed forces last year and has begun building a copy.
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the aerospace division of the powerful Revolutionary Guards, related what he said were details of the aircraft’s operational history to prove his claim that Tehran’s military experts had extracted data from the U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel captured in December in eastern Iran, state television reported.
Among the drone’s past missions, he said, was surveillance of the compound in northwest Pakistan in which Osama Bin Laden lived and was killed.
Tehran has flaunted the capture of the Sentinel, a top-secret surveillance drone with stealth technology, as a victory for Iran and a defeat for the United States in a complicated intelligence and technological battle. A report from the country’s official Fars News Agency mocked President Barack Obama, saying he had begged the country “to give him back his toy plane.”
U.S. officials have acknowledged losing the drone. They have said Iran will find it hard to exploit any data and technology aboard it because of measures taken to limit the intelligence value of drones operating over hostile territory.
Hajizadeh told state television that the captured surveillance drone is a “national asset” for Iran and that he could not reveal full technical details. But he did provide some samples of the data that he claimed Iranian experts had recovered.
“There is almost no part hidden to us in this aircraft. We recovered part of the data that had been erased. There were many codes and characters. But we deciphered them by the grace of God,” Hajizadeh said.
He said all operations carried out by the drone had been recorded in the memory of the aircraft, including maintenance and testing.
Hajizadeh claimed that the drone flew over Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan two weeks before the al-Qaida leader was killed there in May 2011 by U.S. Navy SEALs. He did not say how the Iranian experts knew this.
Before that, he said, “this drone was in California on Oct. 16, 2010, for some technical work and was taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan on Nov. 18, 2010. It conducted flights there but apparently faced problems and (U.S. experts) were unable to fix it,” he said.
Hajizadeh said the drone was taken to Los Angeles in December 2010 where sensors of the aircraft underwent testing at an aerospace factory.
“If we had not achieved access to software and hardware of this aircraft, we would be unable to get these details. Our experts are fully dominant over sections and programs of this plane,” he said. “It’s not that we can bring down a drone but cannot recover the data.”
There are concerns in the U.S. that Iran or other states may be able to reverse-engineer the chemical composition of the drone’s radar-deflecting paint or the aircraft’s sophisticated optics technology that allows operators to positively identify terror suspects from tens of thousands of feet in the air.
There are also worries that adversaries may be able to hack into the drone’s database, as Iran claimed to have done. Some surveillance technologies allow video to stream through to operators on the ground but do not store much collected data. If they do, it is encrypted.
Media reports claimed this week that Russia and China have asked Tehran to provide them with information on the drone but Iran’s Defense Ministry denied this.
Benghazi, IRS, AP...What's next? Only TheBlaze TV offers the truth from Glenn Beck, Andrew Wilkow, and Real News from TheBlaze. Get instant access and a free trial here.
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 437 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 418 Comments
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 379 Comments
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Has Awkward Moment With Okla. Tornado Survivor After Asking If She ‘Thanked the Lord’ 320 Comments
- More Than $1 Million Raised Through Mercury One for Oklahoma Tornado Relief 266 Comments
- ‘Unbelievable’: Apparent Thief Leaves $140 & Apology Note on Family’s Doorstep — Find Out Why Read More
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 146 Comments
- Comedian’s New Anti-Muhammad Video Excoriates Islamic Prophet, Juxtaposes Him with Jesus: ‘Very Wrong and Twisted’ 132 Comments
- Teacher Admits She ‘Prayed Out Loud’ During Violent Tornado: ‘I Did the Teacher Thing that We’re Probably Not Supposed to Do’ 121 Comments
- Farrakhan Talks of ‘Satanic Jews’ and ‘Synagogue of Satan’ at Detroit Church Speech — but Wait Until You Hear Who Was in Attendance 237 Comments
- Here are the 7 Most Explosive & Informative Moments from Today’s IRS Hearing Read More
- Foreign Banks Operating on U.S. Soil Have Just Set a Record Read More
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 247 Comments
- Report: No IRS Workers Have Been Disciplined & Union Says It Hasn’t Been Contacted on Personnel Read More
- Ex-Cincinnati IRS Manager: This Was Not the Work of ‘Low-Level’ Employees Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 115 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- WW II photo-documentarian Wayne Miller dies at 94
- Broke no laws, IRS official says _ then takes 5th
- Zach Johnson always feels good at Colonial
- House passes GOP bill to speed pipeline approval
- HP's 2Q offers hope even as revenue slump deepens
- 4 Americans killed since 2009 in US drone strikes
- Mexico cartel dominates, torches western state
- Union power at issue as Garcetti elected LA mayor