Scroll to top

Tracking surveillance planes and drones in Somalia

We used an antenna to track surveillance planes that were flying over Somalia, analysing massive amounts of data to find out a few planes flying in perfect circles.

These planes provided intelligence to the US army whose drones kill islamist insurgents, and sometimes civilians too.

We found out that one of these planes, with the registration number N51PR, was packed with surveillance gear. In 2019, it flew several times over an area that would later be bombed, reportedly killing several civilians.

You can read our story “Private U.S. Contractors Part of the ‘Kill Chain’ in East Africa Anti-Terrorist Operations” on OCCRP.

You can also read more about my project tracking dictators and investigating flight data collected by thousands of antennas around the world, including Somalia.