Tracking Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

You’ve probably seen this video (the one where al-Zarqawi’s weapon jams and his pal helps him clear it) (in this particular link, that scene’s about half way through the piece)…

Does that video contain enough information about the surrounding landscape such that its perspective/orientation could be transformed into an aerial shot equivalent? And, if so, could the resultant derived aerial image be compared with either real-time or stored satellite data to determine his location?

As always, thanks!

Personally, I doubt the resolution of a handheld camcorder would support the geometric analysis you’re suggesting. You could use it as a final refinement tool if you had shrunk the search space enough – for example, if a human source said “that’s outside Baquba,” you might have a shot at it. You’d look for a house near a ridge with height N (see that cliff in the background?). And then you might narrow it down to one house if you’re very lucky. If someone can name the ridge for you, especially either a U.S. soldier who’s worked near that ridge, or an informant who knows the area, then you’re much better off. Even then you’d need to rely on some sort of eavesdropping - special forces staking out the place from 3 miles away, a satellite taking daily images, maybe both, maybe more - to confirm that the house was Zarqawi’s. Just a guess, but I don’t think that one video alone can support analysis at the level of detail you’re thinking of.

Having done it once, though, and announced to the media that “drone aircraft were used”, they can simply fly drones over houses at random and see if anyone they are looking for comes running out. :slight_smile: