Report: Insurgents Using Google Earth to Hit Coalition Bases in Iraq

Saturday , January 13, 2007

Insurgents are using aerial footage from the Google Earth Web mapping tool to pinpoint soft spots in British bases in Iraq, a newspaper reports via British military officials.

Materials seized last week during raids on homes of terrorists showed a set of photographs off Google's internet tool with the exact longitude and latitude of a Basra Palace base where 1,000 British troops stay, the Telegraph reports.

Click here to view the full Telegraph story.

"This is evidence as far as we are concerned for planning terrorist attacks," an intelligence officer with the Royal Green Jackets battle group stationed in Basra told the Telegraph. "Who would otherwise have Google Earth imagery of one of our bases?"

The officer said he believes insurgents use Google Earth to identify the most vulnerable areas of bases, such as tents. The tool can get as detailed as showing specific vehicles in a desired region and has no limits to who can sign up and use it.

A spokesman for Google admitted the information could used for "good and bad."

However, the spokesman said, "Of course we are always ready to listen to governments' requests," he said.

Soldiers at the Basra camp said they had considered suing Google if any mortar rounds that had been directed on the camp by the aerial footage injured them.

Michael De Dora Jr. contributed to this report.

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