More missiles have been fired at known SIM cards than at recognized individuals

Tuesday, February 6th, 2024

Swarm Troopers by David HamblingInsurgents may be tracked and targeted by their mobile phones, David Hambling notes (in Swarm Troopers):

It has been suggested that more missiles have been fired at known SIM cards than at recognized individuals. In recent years agents in the field have marked targets for drone strikes with miniature radio beacons. A mobile phone left under a seat can perform the same function. The Taliban in Afghanistan have executed alleged spies who left electronic devices concealed in empty cigarette packets. Taliban commanders now know to leave their vehicles guarded at all times to prevent tracking devices from being attached.


Other types of tagging are passive. One approach is to shower the target with a fine dust of “quantum dots”, tiny specks of semiconducting crystal. These are invisible to the naked eye but can be detected from long range with the aid of an infrared laser illuminator. Different batches of dots can be given specific codes, so a tagged individual or vehicle can be identified days later from long range.

Other tagging technologies include dyes and inks visible only through special viewers. One DARPA document even suggested that an additive could be introduced to the target’s shampoo so they could be identified and tracked. It is not clear whether this idea was ever developed.


  1. Handle says:

    HVT-TTL = high value target tracking tagging and locating. All kinds of fun stuff in that tool set, some I’ve heard goes all the way up to eyes-only level. There used to be a kind of radioactive spray paint to make some hilux roof show up hotter than the inside of the Chernobyl sarcophagus, but I doubt anyone in charge has the stomach for that kind of stuff anymore.

    Isegoria, please send me an email.

  2. Bob Sykes says:

    Drones are used to murder people (not actually identified) with a wanton disregard to innocent people nearby. It is probable, if not certain, that the great majority of people killed by drones are innocent bystanders.

    A wanton disregard for “collateral damage” and even the designation of unarmed enemy civilians and historical treasures as legitimate targets is one of the defining characteristics of the American military, and it has been since the git-go in 1607.

Leave a Reply