Conflict & Justice

CIA drone fleet plans to expand, report finds


A man is at work during the set up of the 'UAV Show Europe', an International Drone fair, on September 25, 2012 in Merignac near Bordeaux, on the eve of the event's start.


Pierre Andrieu

The CIA's drone fleet is looking to expand.

CIA Director David H. Petraeus has requested that the White House approve the addition of as many as 10 armed drones to the force, which has fluctuated in number between 30 and 35 in recent years, the Washington Post reported

The White House's Counterterrorism Security Group, chaired by John O. Brennan, Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, is reviewing the request, but no decisions have been made yet, officials said.

More from GlobalPost: Deadlier drones are coming

The request for more drones comes as the CIA focuses on halting the expansion of Al Qaeda affiliate referred to as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, based in the West African country of Mali, United Press International reported. The group is reportedly trying to overthrow its neighbor Algeria's government and put in place an Islamic state. 

“With what happened in Libya, we’re realizing that these places are going to heat up,” an anonymous official told The Washington Post.  “I think we’re actually looking forward a little bit." 

The CIA has also said it will continue its search in Afghanistan for Osama Bin Laden's successor Ayman al-Zawahiri, a campaign which makes frequent use of drones, Al Arabiya reported

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