The Drone Papers

The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The documents, provided by a whistleblower, offer an unprecedented glimpse into Obama’s drone wars.

Illustration by The Intercept

Continue reading The Drone Papers

  1. 01.

    The Assassination Complex

    Jeremy Scahill

    The whistleblower who leaked the drone papers believes the public is entitled to know how people are placed on kill lists and assassinated on orders from the president.

  2. 02.

    A Visual Glossary

    Josh Begley

    Decoding the language of covert warfare.

  3. 03.

    The Kill Chain

    Cora Currier

    New details about the secret criteria for drone strikes and how the White House approves targets.

  4. 04.

    Find, Fix, Finish

    Jeremy Scahill

    The tip of the spear in the Obama administration’s ramped up wars in Somalia and Yemen was a special operations task force called TF 48-4.

  5. 05.

    Manhunting in the Hindu Kush

    Ryan Devereaux

    Leaked documents detailing a multi-year U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan reveal the strategic limits and startling human costs of drone warfare.

  6. 06.

    Firing Blind

    Cora Currier, Peter Maass

    A secret Pentagon study highlights the chronic flaws in intelligence used for drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia.

  7. 07.

    The Life and Death of Objective Peckham

    Ryan Gallagher

    For years Bilal el-Berjawi traveled freely from the U.K. to Somalia under the watchful eyes of intelligence services. Then the U.S. killed him with a drone strike.

  8. 08.

    Target Africa

    Nick Turse

    To reduce the “tyranny of distance,” drones fly from bases in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Navy ships.

  9. 09.


    The Alphabet of Assassination

    A guide to the acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms used in The Drone Papers.

  10. 10.


    Small Footprint Operations 2/13

    Small Footprint Operations 5/13

    Operation Haymaker

    Geolocation Watchlist

Editor-in-Chief: Betsy Reed. Series Editor: Roger Hodge. Additional Editing: Rubina Madan Fillion, Charlotte Greensit, Andrea Jones, Peter Maass. Research: Alleen Brown, John Thomason, Margot Williams, Spencer Woodman. Art Direction: Stephane Elbaz and Philipp Hubert. Additional Photo Editing: Connie Yu. Development: Tom Conroy and Raby Yuson.

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