A Few Points on Commercially Available Drones and the Future of Terrorism
On Saturday, during a military parade, a previously unknown opposition group the Soldados de Franela or “T-Shirt Soldiers” exploded a drone-borne bomb near Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, and they ushered in an era of future terrorism by unmanned aerial vehicle.
It is only a matter of time, before the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and lone wolfs inspired by foreign terror groups carry out attacks using small, un-manned, inexpensive, commercially-available drones, to attack public meetings and gatherings in Western capitals. In December 2016, it was reported that Transport Canada had warned that small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or un-manned drones, could be employed by terrorists for surveillance purposes. Increasingly, Western intelligence agencies have been worried about terrorists utilizing small, inexpensive commercial drone technology to carry out terror attacks, and none of this is surprising and new. The Japanese doomsday cult, Aum Shinrikyo, planned to use an un-manned drone to drop a chemical weapon on crops in fields in 1994. Hezbollah attempted to attack Israel using commercially available drones with explosives attached to carry out attacks. In Pakistan, during 2013, Al-Qaeda paid an aerospace-engineer to build small attack drones and conducted at least one successful test before they were shut down by the Pakistani authorities.
In 2014, in both Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State and Jabat Al Nusra used commercially available un-manned drones for surveillance, real time intelligence, and to drop small bombs on targets. There are several reported ‘lone-wolf’ type plots to use drones and small bombs to attack US landmarks including one in 2011 to strike the Pentagon and the Capitol. Islamist militants have reportedly spent considerable time examining the use of un-manned drones to deliver explosives and weapons of mass destruction including chemical and biological weapons. Based on their experience in Iraq, the US military have cautioned troops to be wary of unmanned drones and employed both early-detection and electronic jamming systems against unidentified drones in their battle space. These were counter-measures taken on the battlefield by the most technologically advanced military in history unprotected civilian targets in Western cities are particularly vulnerable to this type of attack. The London Metropolitan Police reported 20 suspicious drone-flying incidents around London between January 2013 and August 2015. Drones have been flown over sensitive points in France starting in 2015, including the Presidential Palace, U.S. Embassy, and the Eiffel Tower.
Bottom-line, be prepared for a drone-attack near you.