An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post reports, 'Al-Qaeda's leadership has assigned cells of engineers to find ways to shoot down, jam or remotely hijack U.S. drones ... In July 2010, a U.S. spy agency intercepted electronic communications indicating that senior al-Qaeda leaders had distributed a "strategy guide" to operatives around the world advising them how "to anticipate and defeat" unmanned aircraft. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reported that al-Qaeda was sponsoring simultaneous research projects to develop jammers to interfere with GPS signals and infrared tags that drone operators rely on to pinpoint missile targets. Other projects in the works included the development of observation balloons and small radio-controlled aircraft, or hobby planes, which insurgents apparently saw as having potential for monitoring the flight patterns of U.S. drones... Al-Qaeda has a long history of attracting trained engineers ... Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, holds a mechanical-engineering degree ... In 2010, the CIA noted in a secret report that al-Qaeda was placing special emphasis on the recruitment of technicians and that "the skills most in demand" included expertise in drones and missile technology.'"