HOTEL ATTACKS IN WEST AFRICA: LESSONS FOR NIGERIA (1)

In the past 12 months there have been several armed attacks on hotels or tourist spots in North Africa, East and West Africa.

We will briefly examine the West African attacks and try and establish trends, patterns and possible lessons for Nigeria or other West African states.

Cote d’Ivoire:

Cote D’Ivoire is a Francophone country bordered by Liberia and Guinea to the west, Mali and Burkina Faso to the north, Ghana to the east and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. It has the second largest economy in West Africa based on agriculture and a large expatriate (mainly French) community and hosts a strong French military presence and is a logistics hub for Op Barkhane.

Cote d’ Ivoire experienced a series of crises since the death of long term ruler Felix Houphouet Boigney and the introduction of multiparty elections, in which politicians introduced ethnic and identity politics, leading to a coup and two civil wars. The second civil war ended pitted the Northern New Forces led by Alassane Quattara against Laurent Gbagbo’s government after the latter refused to cede power. Quattara’s forces supported by UN and French forces defeated Gbagbo in 2011.

Grand Bassam attack

The attacks took place on Sunday 13 March 2016 around 1.00pm lasting until early evening in Grand Bassam, Grand Bassam Department, Comoe District, a beach resort in the south of the country approximately 40km east of Abidjan.

The resorts are on a spit of land connected to Old Grand Bassam by bridge and a road running east-west on the spit. Grand Bassam itself is linked to the mainland by 2 bridges east and west of the town. In essence an area easy to isolate.

Witnesses state 4 men arrived in a Ford Saloon car. Two remained in the vehicle whilst two entered a bar and drank for about 30 minutes (placing orders in English). The two in the car reportedly initiated the attack with small arms fire, followed by the 2 in the bar.

Witnesses report at least 3 attackers walking down the beach firing at civilians in front of L’Etoile du Sud Hotel and then moving east past Wharf Hotel, shooting civilians, reportedly targeting Europeans and Christians, Ivorien security forces engaged them as they got to La Nouvelle Paillote Hotel surrounding and then assaulting the hotel, killing at least 2. 1 is thought to have escaped.

Ivorien Police responded in 15 minutes followed by GSPR and UIGN (National Gendarmerie Special Forces) 45 minutes later. They reportedly surrounded the gunmen in La Nouvelle Paillote Hotel, around 6.30pm killing 2 attackers and losing 2 soldiers. 2 civilians were killed and 11 wounded in the crossfire

Witnesses have estimated there were 3-6 attackers. They were said to be black African communicate in French, English and Arabic and were. They were reportedly dressed casually in T shirts and jeans, with one man in a waiter’s uniform. They were armed with AK variant assault rifles and hand grenades had AK chest webbing with several magazines and hand grenades.

The attack resulted in 19 dead and 24 wounded. Ivorien civilians (8), Ivorien military (3), France (4), Germany (1), Lebanon (1), Nigeria (1) and Macedonia (1).

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Sahara Emirate and Katibat al Mourabitoun claimed the attack via social media (Twitter and Telegram), in Arabic, French, Spanish and English stating there were 3 x attackers, named as Hamza al Fulani, Abou Adam al Ansari (from Katibat al Mourabitoun) and Abdurahman al Fulani (from AQIM Sahara Emirate)

Burkina Faso:

Burkina Faso is a Francophone country bordering Cote d’Ivoire to the south west, Mali to the North, Niger to the east, Benin Republic to the southeast and Togo and Ghana to the south.

It is a fairly poor country with an economy dependant on cotton exports and a large mainly French expatriates community and hosts a French Special Forces base in Ouagadougou, as well as US intelligence and military troops and facilities.

Until October 2014 it was ruled by Blaise Compaore, who was overthrown by popular revolt. The resulting provisional government was overthrown in September 2015 in a botched coup which failed after a week under pressure. Current President Roch Marc Christian Kabore was elected in November 2015.

Compaore (who overthrew popular President Thomas Sankara in 1987) was implicated in involvement in the Liberian and Sierra Leonean conflicts and smuggling of ‘blood diamonds’, (Burkina Faso allegedly laundered 40% of the diamonds illegally mined by the RUF in Sierra Leone during the Sierra Leonean Civil War He was closely allied with Muammar Ghaddafi of Libya as well as France.

Ouagadougou Attack:

The attack began around 7.30pm, Friday 15 January 2016 ending approximately 8.00am the next day and took place on Avenue Kwame Nkrumah, in Ouagadougou city centre, which is less than a kilometre from the airport and Air Force Base (where US military and intelligence personnel operate).

Approximately 6 gunmen drove up Avenue Kwame Nkrumah, set several cars on fire and then attacked Cappuccino Café around 7.30pm with small arms, shooting guests and staff with Europeans being targeted specifically, at least 10 bodies were recovered from the cafe. They then set the building alight shooting anyone trying to escape. About an hour later they crossed over to the Hotel Splendid, taking hostages and murdering people particularly Europeans, using IEDs and grenades as booby traps. Burkinabe forces established a cordon and imposed an 11.00pm to 6.00am curfew. Burkinabe Special forces then assaulted Hotel Splendid around 1.00am supported by French and US Special Forces in an advisory role, killing 3 attackers. The fourth retreated to Hotel YIBI on the other side of the road, where he was killed around 7.30am

There were at least 4 attackers and possibly up to 6 armed with AK variant rifles, grenades and IEDs; described some of being of Taureg/ Arab appearance, speaking an unfamiliar language, recovered bodies were of a black African and lighter skinned person who appeared very youthful (less than 26). In addition to those who arrived in the vehicle some were believed to be masquerading as guests and some reportedly arrived later during the incident. 3-4 are believed to have escaped. Witnesses state there were at least 2 women; specifically stating the attackers at the café were a black African woman with braids/ dreadlocks and 2 x Arab/Tauregs.

176 people taken hostage in the hotel were rescued, 56 wounded (including at least 1 Burkinabe soldier and French soldier) and 30 killed- Burkinabe civilians (7), French (2), Canada (6), Ukraine (4), USA (1), Switzerland (2), Netherlands (1), Libya (1), Portugal (1).

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed the assault in Arabic, French, Spanish and English via social media (Twitter and Telegram), stating there were 3 x attackers named as Battar al Ansari, Abu Muhammad al Buqali al Ansari and Ahmed al Fulani al Ansari. (2 Black Africans and 1 Taureg)

Mali:

Mali is a Francophone country bordering Guinea to the south west, Senegal and Mauritania to the west, Algeria to the North, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire to the south and Guinea to the southwest. It is a very poor country with an economy dependant on agriculture and cotton exports and limited oil exploration.

It has undergone several Taureg rebellions since independence and is a major narcotics and smuggling hub. The last Taureg uprising in 2012, following the defeat of the Ghaddafi regime led to Northern Mali being overrun by the MNLA, Ansar el Dine and AQIM, who declared an independent Azawad. Ansar el Dine, AQIM and MUJAO implemented their version of sharia. The north was eventually liberated by French forces in January 2013 supported by Malian forces.

Several foreign forces are based in Mali; a UN peacekeeping force MINUSMA, an EU Training Mission EUTM) and French Op Barkhane forces based in Gao and operating mainly in the north.

Bamako attack:

The attacks took place between 7.00am on Friday 20 November 2015 in the Radisson Blu, Hamdallaye Hamdallaye Street, ACI 2000 Quartier, Commune III, which is the administrative and commercial centre of Bamako.

Gunmen arrived outside the hotel in a vehicle with diplomatic plates, shot the guards and then entered the hotel taking up to 150 hostages. They went room to room reportedly asking people to recite Koranic verses, capturing or murdering those who could not but releasing approximately 80 people. At least 2 attackers, who reportedly spoke English and a non Malian African language, were in their early 20’s.

UN peacekeepers and Malian soldiers established a cordon, whilst Malian special forces supported by French GIGN and US Special Forces assaulted the hotel, freeing hostages and killing the attackers. 5 days later Malian forces arrested 2 x Malians in their 30’s near Bamako, linked to the attackers through their mobile phones.

22 people were killed and 7 wounded; Mali (6), Russia (6), China (3), Belgium (2), Israel (1), USA (1), Senegal (1) and 2 x attackers.

The attack was claimed by Khatibat al Mourabitoun through Twitter, as well as in a follow up audio recording to the media. The initial claim by Al Mourabitoun demanded the release of jihadi prisoners and French withdrawal from Mali. The Macina Liberation Front also claimed the attack. The attackers were identified by Al Mourabitoun as Abdul Hakim al Ansari and Mu’adh al-Ansari. Photos released by AQIM showed 2 young men or boys (16-20) wearing Nigeria Army type uniform, with AK variant rifles and grenades.

Common Factors:

A review of these attacks shows several common factors

Objectives: the key objective appears to be propaganda of the deed, to cause mass casualties particularly amongst non Africans and non Muslims in order to draw attention to the perpetrators cause and influence the strategic outlook of the target country. Within the claims of responsibility specific demands or accusations are made with professional media pieces disseminated to exploit these attacks.

Target countries: all the attacks have taken place in Francophone countries with a foreign (i.e. French) military presence, Mali and Burkina Faso host operational units of Op Barkhane whilst Cote d’Ivoire hosts troops and is an important logistical base. At the same time all these countries have witnessed recent political upheaval which has affected their security forces and increased the number of small arms in circulation.

Target locations: the attacks have taken place in urban and beach locations, focusing on hotels and resorts frequented by foreigners and the local elite. These have generally been located in major (or capital cities) or close to them. Many of these targets have been close to military establishments, containing Special Forces.

Target people: attackers have specifically targeted non Muslims and Europeans, however as is the case most casualties have been local nationals. They do not appear to discriminate by tribe or nationality only religion.

Attackers: the attackers are generally very young male, non-locals, with sufficient training to handle weapons properly and resist security forces for a period and inflict casualties. The attackers have used a mixture of stealth, deception and disguise to approach and infiltrate their targets. Basic light infantry weapons, such as grenades and rifles have either been cached or hidden, with some attackers gaining access by masquerading as guests or employees. Their tactics have been fairly simple; gain access (through stealth or infiltration), create as many casualties as possible until the security forces respond and then conduct fighting withdrawals until cornered and eliminated. Interestingly there have been no deliberate suicide attacks yet.

All the attacks in West Africa thus far have all been claimed by the AQIM Sahara Emirate (led by Yahya Abu al Hammam) or its offshoots such as Khatibat al Mourabitoun (led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar) or the Macina Liberation Front. In North Africa these attacks have been claimed by Daesh affiliates and in East Africa by al Shabaab.

The attackers have very quickly capitalised on the publicity from these attacks using social media, most likely to ensure their message is not filtered or blocked by traditional media outlets. By attacking Westerners, their actions guarantee global media coverage, by discriminating between Muslims and non Muslims, it reinforces their narrative as defenders of the Islamic faith.

Implications for Nigeria

These attacks are symptomatic of the evolution of the conflict in the Sahel as well as the struggle for primacy between Daesh and Al Qaeda.

All the target countries have been Francophone, pro Western countries, with a significant foreign military presence. They have all suffered recent political upheaval and/ or conflict and border unstable states with ungoverned spaces. In this context the most likely target for the next attacks would be Senegal, Cameroun, Gabon, Niger, Mauritania or Chad. By attacking tourist spots in strong economies like Cote D’Ivoire or hotels full of aid workers like in Mali, it damages the country’s sources of income.

Nigeria is already a key target for local and transnational terrorist’s franchises. It presents the kind of high profile target rich environment that would guarantee success and publicity for a perpetrator.

With active conflicts and contested spaces in the North East, South South and Middle Belt and well armed Islamic, tribal and criminal groups, light weapons, grenades and IEDs are easily accessible to as well as the trained, motivated personnel needed to perpetrate these acts..

Likely target cities include as Lagos, Abuja or Port Harcourt, which have large numbers of foreign visitors, wealthy Nigerians and luxury hotels and shopping malls however other cities such as Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Calabar, Benin also have the right target set.

The type of attacks could differ by location and perpetrator; criminal or militant groups in the South would be more likely to take hostages for publicity, to obtain and favourable bargaining position or kidnap for ransom. In the north the attacks would most likely follow the pattern of those in other countries, where most have been conducted by AQIM or their affiliates.

In Nigeria, the closest associate to AQIM is Ansaru (in as much as they still exist), who whilst extremely brutal have shown an inclination to discriminate in their attacks (between Muslims and non Muslims)

However other than this minor distinction, an attack by Ansaru, Boko Haram or any other extremist religiously inspired group, would inevitably be a mass casualty event.

This is relevant as Ansaru’s links to MUJAO and AQIM are very strong. It might be significant that the nom de guerre of most of the attackers is ‘al Ansari’, they spoke languages foreign to target countries (Hausa, Fulani or Arabic would be at least recognisable) or wore Nigeria Army type uniforms in some propaganda videos.

Conclusion:

These attacks are cheap and relatively easy to mount. Whilst most attacks are perpetrated by AQIM, they are easy to copy and replicate and any group with access to weapons and motivated individuals can commit these attacks.

As Boko Haram sees its battlefield fortunes wane, the coalition of jihadists, criminals and mercenaries could split and splinter.

If Ansaru or another successor group wishes to assert its independence or herald its alliance with AQIM, the hotel/ resort attack would be the ideal vehicle.

In the next instalment we will review the process by which these attacks are planned and executed and potential counter measures

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About peccavi

A Nigerian with interests in defence, security, geopolitics, the military particularly small unit tactics, COIN, stabilisation and asymmetric warfare
This entry was posted in Defence, Geopolitics, Nigeria Defence, Nigeria Strategy, Terrorism, West Africa Defence, West Africa Strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to HOTEL ATTACKS IN WEST AFRICA: LESSONS FOR NIGERIA (1)

  1. Pingback: HOTEL ATTACKS IN WEST AFRICA: LESSONS FOR NIGERIA (1) | Rifleman III Journal

  2. Kay says:

    Sad we have to get exposed to this on the sub continent. Terrorism is becoming a huge problem especially to the stability of communities. Hopefully good counter intelligence can suppress the possibility of such attacks before it gets carried out.

  3. lachit says:

    whatever I have seen and experienced and mostly learned from discussions with intel operatives/analysts. the best way to tackle terrorist is to take pro-active measures.
    it is best effective solution with high returns.

    best example I can give you is how terrorism was suppressed in Indian Punjab, it was started and sustained by the western neighbouring country , when things became unmanageable on the Indian side , 2 special operations desks were created within RAW to make things hot for the handlers across border.
    one desk was tasked to create mayhem within Pakistan by targeting paramilitary and military .
    2nd desk was tasked with creating fear psychosis in the enemies civilian population by carrying outs routine low intensity blasts , 20-45 such blasts for one single terrorist act in Punjab.

    the results were very good the neighbouring country used a Jordanian prince as a mediator to negotiate truce and agreed to back off from instigating trouble in Punjab.

    having said that the situation in Africa is much more complex due to
    1.involvement of international players
    2.involvmement of players across religious lines
    3.distruct among African countries themselves
    4.economic woes have also a significant role to play

    still solutions exists lets take the example of Nigeria
    it can
    1.create a shadow group with no name or state recognition under the control of the president , to assassinate( or rather put them in harms way were there is lots of room for plausible deniability) , discredit / psychologically harass , subterfuge local support elements residing within the country be it a politician , a student , a businessman etc.

    there are lots of way a person can die and can serve a warning to others , from my experience terrorists and their sympathisers are mostly very paranoid , a slight trigger is enough to freak them.

    😀 I am going to share a hypothetical experience for the first time , psychological triggers are a very usefully tool if used properly , a so called academician was a facilitator to terrorists , a link man and used to take advantage of the freedoms via democracy to espouse their cause.
    there was no way we could like him via solid evidence which can hold in court of law. he was proving to be very damaging so decision was taken to eliminate (for lack of proper words) him .

    all the standard surveillance ops was mounted and he was under constant watch. however he started to exhibit behaviour which showed that he was aware / suspected that he was under observation, we took advantage of that . over a period of time he became more and more paranoid.
    we kind of accelerated it by moving certain objects when he was away from home . on his return he would be sometimes confused or down right hysterical when he could not figure out misplaced objects . objects that held significant attachment and of day to day use were only moved (like religious book etc. ) but the changes where very subtle.

    power outrages , prank calls etc. all suitable timed were also employed . also all his friends and family circle were effectively blocked . plus lot of other sundry things 😀 which is better not mentioned .

    took nearly 2 years but he became a psychological wreck and attempted to commit suicide .

    back to topic
    2.eliminate external help/support be it moral political or financial. basically easier said than done . but this is the point of having counter intelligence.
    find the arms / supply runners and make a example of them or at best make them work for you.
    concentrate on the money trail , everything needs money especially terrorists you find the trail you find the mother load.
    anything done in foreign land must ensure that your actions are not traceable and at best u have reasons for plausible deniability. the soviets were masters at that.

    3.play bad cop good cop 😀

    4.grow a backbone specially the political elite. the world is suffering because of the spineless political jackasses in power in many terrorism afflicted countries

  4. peccavi says:

    Hi Oga Lachit,
    I’d disagree with your factors and solutions
    1) International players are incidental. They will support one side or the other, or in the case of China in Sudan/ South Sudan-both sides. All warfare is local. The South Sudanese are not fighting over pro west or pro east, China/ USA, Russia/ UK. Its Nuer vs Dinka
    2) Religion is a massive aggaravating factor but my fndamental belief is all warfare (particularly in Africa is local. Religion I agree though is a massive aggravator.
    3) I agree, African unity is something our leaders shout about but do no practice. The same reason they would rather import labourers from China or doctors from India or flight crew from the UK than use Nigerians
    4) Economic issues are related to corruption and poor governance but yes I agree.
    Let me respond t your solutions in relation to Nigeria
    1) Who do you assasinate? And why? Because they have operational control of the enemy? Or they are somehow linked to them? The politicians who are actually linked to them are very powerful and mostly do not have operational control, they cannot tell them stop or start, at best they can do deals with them. That’s just the practical issues. We haven’ mentioned legal or moral.
    If you wish to target their operational commanders, fine, but who are they and where are they?
    2) Boko Haram is not the same as Renamo, UNITA orr Frelimo who had external patrons. It is essentially self funding by collecting illegal taxes on smuggled goods like fuel, livestock, fish etc, ransoms, illegal taxes on villages, protection money from the rich and powerful. They do not use banks so cutting their finance is a matter of covering the basics, border controls, population controls, making sure all transactions are recorded and taxed
    3) The reality is that the political will to defeat the enemy appears to be there now however a clear understanding of the problem and solution seems to still be developing. We need more soldiers, we need to reduce our costs b standardizing, improve logistics, garrison these areas with police and boost the infrastructure.

    What do you think?

    • lachit says:

      hi,

      1.”International players are incidental” I will beg to differ in this, foreign interference must not always be perceived in terms of real time / current scenarios , nothing incidental about it , most of the time foreign interference / collaboration etc. are done for plausible scenarios waiting/designed to happen in 5 years 10 years etc. in the future.

      e.g.. the Saudi led alliance of about 40 countries is step to formation of a future Islamic NATO type military block in the future , today it is a alliance to fight so called terrorism or confront the alleged Shia led alliance. in the future most of the present member nations will end up in this NATO type military block in a big way willingly or unwillingly because of domestic and inter-national issues like financial status , military status , financial aid , geo-political compulsion , cross border rivalry etc.

      2.) “I agree, African unity is something our leaders shout about but do no practice. The same reason they would rather import labourers from China or doctors from India or flight crew from the UK than use Nigerians”
      the solution is very simple and staring right into your face 😀
      some technology intensive fields will always demand importation of experienced people from other countries. this happens everywhere.

      A. “import labourers from China ” why? this should be one time only , once labourers have arrived from China , why not attach a group of Nigerian people to work with the Chinese group so that can learn from them and replace them in future so that there is no need of importation of labour.

      B.doctors from India ? why . lack of adequate medical schools and medical facilities , specialized doctors will always be required to gain and exchange experience. no country can circumvent that.
      priority must be given to medical schools etc. so that more than adequate no of doctors are produced so that no importation is required except for expertise exchange.

      and I fail to see how the unity of Africa issue is related to importation of labour etc. issue
      since the faults and their solutions are purely domestic issues of the respective countries.

      now to the important part
      1.”Who do you assassinate?”
      I quote from my above comment
      ‘ to assassinate( or rather put them in harms way were there is lots of room for plausible deniability) , discredit / psychologically harass , subterfuge ***local support elements residing within the country*** be it a politician , a student , a businessman etc.’

      I used the word **assassinate** quite literally ,but nowadays it means like take somebody down without killing him .
      I therefor mentioned ***discredit , psychologically harass , subterfuge , brainwash***

      2.”and why?” 😀
      BH leaders and foot soldiers are only the face , the fall guys if someday BH is destroyed.
      the real movers and shakers are financiers , politicians , and other stakeholders (both internal/external) to BH.
      even if u win the win against BH , u cannot guarantee it will not manifest or keep persisting unless the background overt supporters are not taken care of.
      winning war is local , winning battle is complete elimination .

      “The politicians who are actually linked to them are very powerful and mostly do not have operational control, they cannot tell them stop or start, at best they can do deals with them. ”
      hehehe that’s the standard tag line which a politician would like everybody to believe , but where there is will there is way , I guess I can say this much only.

      ” Boko Haram is not the same as Renamo, UNITA orr Frelimo who had external patrons. It is essentially self funding by collecting illegal taxes on smuggled goods like fuel, livestock, fish etc, ransoms, illegal taxes on villages, protection money from the rich and powerful.”

      but BH financial operands reminds me of NSCIM in India , exactly same , but still they required funds from Netherlands , groups in US , NGOs , missionaries and Vatican (alleged) .

      the scale of BH operations and the time scale involved is a strong indication of external support. even with looted ammo and weapons the BH could not have sustained the war so long.
      also weapon and ammo costs in black market etc. is almost quadruple the original costs.
      unless they looted massive weapons depot of Nigerian army , I fail to understand how they are being resupplied.

      also there is the possibility Nigerian intelligence has still to unearth all the players.

      finally there is big, big gap between discussing something and implementing them , however everything I have said is feasible more or less with modification suited to the situation at hand in Nigeria.

      everything is a matter of perception i.e. point of view.
      lastly and most importantly nobody is wrong in his point of view, at best they will differ in the degree to which they are closest to the truth.
      but if I were a third person and asked to choose between u and lachit on matters relating to Nigeria I will always choose u (ground advantage). 😀

      • peccavi says:

        Hi Oga,
        Disagreement is good, it forces us to challenge our ideas
        The international dimension to Boko Haram is regional and even in the context of regions more and more specific to certain tribes and peoples, in my opinion.
        The example abut labour is just an illustration of the thought process of African politicians. There is no logical reason to bring Chinese people to dig roads, Nigerian doctors train in Nigeria and then go abroad, our problem is not a lack of doctors or skilled people but the lack of an enabling environment. Our politicians would rather pay a foreign student doctor than a qualified Nigerian consultant.
        If those sponsors exist then they should be arrested and prosecuted or exploited for intelligence purpose. I agree a more involved intelligence operation is needed but assassination will not solve the problem.
        I believe BHs money trail is so low tech old school that it is difficult to tackle without building the basics of a state such as registering people, border controls taxation, record keeping etc. What’s coming from abroad is most likely coming under the radar. Weapons stolen from Nigeria are a huge amount but the Sahel is full of weapons now so again its not hard to get weapons if you know the right people.
        These types of attacks as in Belgium or Cote d’Ivoire are hard to stop

  5. lachit says:

    true
    and thanks for the reply

    by the way I would like to share with u a trick which is used by intelligence agencies,
    there are few cases of arms snatching and raids for weapons , these are deliberately allowed because GPS transmitters are hidden inside , these are not the usual ones but highly miniaturized (micro strip) versions and run by using the temperature difference.
    and also the transmit pattern are widely spaced , they info from these are used to get a pattern of deployment of terrorist forces , their likely routes , safe houses and when interleaved with existing sites of attacks , IED blast sites , recovered arms depots allows the commanders to predict and anticipate the terrorist effectively and accurately.
    by the way these bugs are also hidden in vehicles , ammo crates , household equipment’s and every probable equipment destined to fall into terrorist hands.

    this is a funny incident which happened in India in one of the DEFENCE EXPOS ,
    my friends was telling me they had been alerted of a red herring working for the a certain country, a journalist originally from a certain south east Asian country , the journo was taking a lot of interest in the engine displays (aviation and marine)..
    initially we could not see any fault in his doings but then a lady commented on his walking style , that got us thinking , at last we escorted the gentlemen to a room and inspected his shoes.

    lolzzz we were surprised to find a ingenious contraption in his shoes heel portion to secure any broken pieces of metals/alloys fallen off from the engines or its blades and laying on the ground.

    ( the real headache in making an engine is the alloys which are required to be heat resistant and have other characteristic , so any help be it covert or overt is helpful towards building a successful engine.)

    unfortunately for the gentlemen we kept the shoes 😀
    and sent him on his merry way barefooted 😀

    and that is why u will notice US and Russian engines are nowadays covered in transparent wraps especially the blades and the area is carefully swept for any fallen debris before being opened for any exhibition in a defence expo.

    plus cant rule out the possibility that some countries swap the blades with useless metallic blades and deliberately litter the ground with exotic metal bits 😀 so that the reverse engineering teams back home have a real horrid time 😀
    this is what I cay PAYBACK with GENUINE HUMOUR hehehe 😀

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