System to track insurgents' vehicles in any foreign city.



Wednesday, July 30, 2003
The United States is developing a system that could detect and track
insurgents' vehicles in any urban area of a foreign country.

The Defense Department project calls for a command and control system
using thousands of sensors to track vehicles in any foreign city.
Officials said the sensors being developed — termed Combat Zones That
See — would be able to identify vehicles, drivers and passengers at
any time and in any weather.

[On Tuesday, the United States issued an alert of an Al Qaida attack
on passenger airliners. The Homeland Security Department warned of the
prospect that Al Qaida was preparing five-man squads to commandeer
civilian planes, Middle East Newsline reported.]


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The Pentagon program undertaken by the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency is meant to ensure that the United States can detect
and track insurgents in any city without the presence of U.S. troops.
Instead, the Pentagon system being developed would allow a regional
command and control installation to track the insurgents for special
operations forces.

The system would enable sensors to relay an alert for any match of a
face of a fugitive in a foreign city. The software would be able to
detect a wanted vehicle or insurgent.

The Pentagon has launched other projects meant to detect suspected
insurgents. In one program, DARPA has developed software that could
scan data bases of credit card, bank and official transactions for a
pattern meant to resemble preparations for an insurgency attack.

Officials said the Combat Zones That See project would be introduced
gradually. The first stage, they said, would deploy a range of cameras
and other sensors linked to a command and control facility to monitor
traffic around U.S. military bases abroad.

In the second phase of the project the system would be expanded to
detect insurgency activities or suspicious behavior in a foreign city
in which U.S. troops operate. The officials did not identify the city,
but it is expected to be Baghdad or Kabul.

The project also envisions using existing video cameras in a city to
form a huge surveillance system. The Pentagon seeks to develop
software that can link thousands of cameras — whether in stores,
tunnels, bridges, banks or government offices — to a command and
control facility.


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