15 October 2015, Intercept: The Drone Papers

The Alphabet of Assassination

Oct. 15 2015

A guide to the acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms used in The Drone Papers. We defer to definitions provided in the source text where available; other interpretations are based on open source material.


ABI -- Activity-Based Intelligence
ADNI/SRA -- Asst. Director of National Intelligence for Systems and Resource Analyses
AF/AFG -- Afghanistan
AFO -- Advance Force Operations
AFRICOM -- U.S. Africa Command
ANSF -- Afghan National Security Forces
AO -- Area of Operations
AOR -- Area of Responsibility
AQ -- Al Qaeda
AQ FAC -- Al Qaeda Facilitator
AQIM -- Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
AQSL -- Al Qaeda Senior Leadership
AP -- Arabian Peninsula
APG -- Aerial Precision Geolocation
AUMF -- Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001)


BBC -- Baseball Card
BDA -- Battle Damage Assessment
BDL -- Bed-Down Location


CAOC -- Combined Air and Space Operations Center
CAP -- Combat Air Patrol
CAPE -- Department of Defense Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation
CCMD -- Combatant Command
CDE -- Collateral Damage Environment
CELLEX -- Cellular Exploitation
CF -- Coalition Forces
CIVCAS -- Civilian Casualties
CJSOTF -- Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force
C-LRA -- Counter-Lord’s Resistance Army
CNO -- Computer Network Operations
CoM -- Chief of Mission (Ambassador)
COMINT -- Communications Intelligence
CONOP -- Concept of Operations
CoS -- Chief of Station (CIA)
CT -- Counterterrorism


DNR COMINT -- Dial Number Recognition Communications Intelligence
DOD -- Department of Defense
DOMEX -- Document and Media Exploitation


EA -- East Africa
EKIA -- Enemy Killed in Action
EWIA -- Enemy Wounded in Action


F3EA -- Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit/Analyze
FFF -- Find, Fix, Finish
FMV or HD FMV -- Full Motion Video or High Definition Full Motion Video
FOB -- Forward Operating Base
FS -- Fire Scout (unmanned helicopter)
FVEY -- Five Eyes


GCC -- Geographic Combatant Command
GOCO -- Government-Owned, Contractor-Operated
GSM -- Global System for Mobile Communication


HN -- Host Nation
HOA -- Horn of Africa
HUJI -- Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami
HUMINT or HI -- Human Intelligence
HVI -- High-Value Individual


IC -- Intelligence Community
IED -- Improvised Explosive Device
IIR -- Intelligence Information Report
IMINT -- Imagery Intelligence
ISAF -- International Security Assistance Force
IPB -- Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace
IPOE -- Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment
ISR -- Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
IZ -- Iraq


J2 -- Intelligence Directorate of a Joint Staff
J5 -- Plans Directorate of a Joint Staff
JP -- Jackpot
JTL -- Joint Target List
JWICS -- Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System
JPEL -- Joint Prioritized Effects List


LeT -- Lashkar-e-Taiba


MAM -- Military-Age Male
MARSOC -- Marine Corps Special Operations Command
MC-12 -- Manned surveillance aircraft
MEDEX -- Media Exploitation
MFW -- Medium Fixed-Wing (manned aircraft)
MQ-1 -- General Atomics Predator drone
MQ-9 -- General Atomics Reaper drone


NAI -- Named Area of Interest
NAVAF -- U.S. Naval Forces Africa
NSB -- Yemeni National Security Bureau


OEF -- Operation Enduring Freedom
OIF -- Operation Iraqi Freedom
OBJ -- Objective
ODTAAC -- Outside a Defined Theater of Active Armed Conflict
OPTEMPO -- Operational Tempo
OPSEC -- Operations Security
OSD -- Office of Secretary of Defense


PACOM -- U.S. Pacific Command
PAX -- Passengers
PDC/PC -- Principals’ Deputies Committee / Principals Committee
P-3 -- P-3 Orion (manned surveillance plane)
PID -- Positive Identification
PKM -- Machine gun
PTT COMINT -- Push-to-Talk Communications Intelligence
POL -- Pattern of Life
POTUS -- President of the United States


ROE -- Rules of Engagement
ROYG -- Republic of Yemen Government
RPA -- Remotely Piloted Aircraft (drone)


SE -- Scan Eagle (surveillance drone)
SECDEF -- Secretary of Defense
SIGINT or SI -- Signals Intelligence
SITREP -- Situation Report
SME -- Subject Matter Expert
SNA -- Social Network Analysis
SOCOM -- U.S. Special Operations Command


TADS -- Terror Attack Disruption Strikes
TB -- Taliban
TF -- Task Force
TIR -- Tactical Interrogation Report
TTP -- Tactics, Techniques, Procedures; Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan


U-28 -- Manned surveillance plane


VBIED -- Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device
VEO -- Violent Extremist Organization
VID -- Voice ID