Sometime in early October 2016, ISIS killed two Kurdish soldiers with an explosive device hidden inside a drone (also known as uninhabited aircraft systems, or UASs), a recent CTC report reveals.
The reports also reveal that in mid-August 2016, the Shi-ite militant group, Hezbollah, dropped two small bombs from what is believed to have been a modified, commercially available drone that it flew over rebel positions in Syria.
The Syria attack by Hezbollah was the first ever attempt by any terrorist group to deploy drones for attack. The report warns the world to brace up for more of such attacks. It warns that terrorist group are becoming more fascinated with how to launch attacks with drone technology.
The Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) is the largest provider of counter-terrorism education to federal, state, and local government in the United States. It researches, educates and teaches US counter-terrorism officials best practices to adopt in the war against terrorism.
Though the CTC report rates the current ability of terrorists groups to launch large scale attack as low, the fear of the damage terrorists can use sophisticated drones to cause is real.
Major Gen. Gary J. Volesky, commander of coalition forces fighting ISIS in Iraq says that the technology employed by ISIS comprises commercial items available to any consumer. He, however, adds that the US is keeping an eye on the situation notwithstanding.
The report states that terrorist groups have advanced their skills at using drones more for surveillance and strategic communication than at launching attacks.
ISIS and other terrorist groups plan to launch chemical attacks with drones in the nearest future
The CTC reports says at least 4 terrorist groups are studying ways to use drones to launch chemical attacks on targets.
CNN reports that the United States bombed an ISIS chemical weapon manufacturing operating from a converted pharmaceutical factory in Iraq last month.
“We are very, very focused with our targeting to go after those places we think terrorists produce chemical weapons. Those individuals that are producing it, and the resources they require to do that will be targeted as well,” CNN quotes Gen. Joseph Votel, a top military commander for US forces throughout the Middle East, as saying.
The CTC report warns that the point where terrorists group will be fully capable of deploying drones for lethal attacks may not be far off. This is as a result of proliferation of drones in commercial quantities and reduction in size.