Remote C.I.A. Base in the Sahara Steadily Grows | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Remote C.I.A. Base in the Sahara Steadily Grows

Deep in the Sahara, the C.I.A. is continuing to conduct secret drone flights from a small but steadily expanding air base, even as the Biden administration has temporarily limited drone strikes against suspected terrorists outside conventional war zones, such as Afghanistan, while it weighs whether to tighten Trump-era rules for such operations.

Soon after it set up the base in northern Niger three years ago, the C.I.A. was poised to launch drone strikes from the site.

But there is no public evidence that the agency has carried out anything but surveillance missions so far. The base was added to a small commercial airport largely to pay closer attention to southwestern Libya, a notorious haven for Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other extremist groups that operate in the Sahel region of Niger, Chad and Mali.

The expanding capabilities at the base indicate that the C.I.A. would be ready to carry out armed drone strikes if the high-level review permits them.

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