Nigeria: The US government has revealed that it has deployed manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets over Nigeria and is providing satellite imagery to help trace the abducted Nigerian school girls. Insurgent group, Bako Haram has kidnapped about 270 school girls and demanded that their “brethrens in prison” should to be released in exchange for the girls.
However, American military and intelligence specialists have expressed their frustration with Nigeria’s inability to act on fresh intelligence about the Boko Haram extremists. US officials have told media that imagery from US surveillance drones and satellites over the last week has shown suspected bands of Boko Haram militants setting up temporary camps and moving through isolated villages and along dirt tracks in north-eastern Nigeria. However, Nigeria’s security forces are hampered by poor equipment and training and have failed to respond quickly.
A report by LA Times claimed that the Nigerian-led search has now expanded to include an ungoverned area of desert and scrub roughly the size of West Virginia that crosses the porous borders into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) of Nigeria last week had disclosed that satellite images from the Nigeria SatX and Sat 2 cannot locate the school girls as they possessed a resolution of 2.5 metres and were not built for such purposes. On May 9, the British government pledged to send a surveillance aircraft, and France, Israel and China too have offered to share intelligence and satellite imagery.