Information revealed today in the Wall Street Journal explains that the US built Predator has been spied upon. The biter bit, you might say.
The unmanned spy plane is flown by wire via a military satellite. Its designated pilot sits thousands of miles away at a desk. The plane has 'eyes' of its own and cameras on a gimbal beneath its nose that stream pictures to the high command. On finding its target a Hellfire tank buster delivers death and destruction from above.
Unbelievably, its video data stream has not been encrypted for the last ten years. Perhaps the Pentagon figure that Al-Qaeda isn't smart enough to work out how to exploit it? Iraqi insurgents have been using a $26 Russian software programme called SkyGrabber to intercept the Predator's pictures and discover where it is. Then, of course, they scarper swiftly the other way.
As my heroine, Henrietta Fox, in Kill Chase might say, "you couldn't make it up."