In September 2017, FBI Director Christopher Wray, warned the US public of the very real threats they face from terrorists using drones on US soil. Well, almost a year on, we have seen an increased use of drones for criminal activity all around the world. However, how real is the terrorist drone threat in the Western world? Let’s take a deeper look.
The threat of terror drones in 2018
In the video below from late 2017, you can hear Nicholas Rasmussen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, echo the thoughts of Wray when he says:
“Two years ago this was not a problem, a year ago it was an emerging problem. Now it’s a real problem. So we’re quickly trying to up our game.”
This statement really highlights the fact that drones are becoming an increasing threat and it’s time that we start taking them more seriously. They have been used extensively by both sides in wars in the Middle East and elsewhere, and it’s very real that these same weapons could soon come to our shores at home.
Most recently, it is believed that a drone equipped with explosives was used to try and assassinate the Venezuelan President. The details surrounding the event are still a little unclear but it appears that Nicolás Maduro was targeted using the drone when speaking at a military ceremony in July.
What does a terrorist drone actually look like?
A terrorist drone can take a number of different forms. In the Middle East, for example, the drones being used by ISIS are small, quick and extremely hard to hit. They are just like advanced consumer drones you can buy in the UK. However, these ones come equipped with grenades and other weaponry, giving them the potential to actually harm and kill.
In late 2016, Kurdish fighters in Iraq shot down and captured a small ISIS drone. They took it back to their base to examine it, however, a small explosive had been fitted into the drone, disguised to look like a battery pack. It exploded, killing 2 people and injuring 2 others.
Other weapons beside grenades
It is believed drones could also easily be outfitted to carry toxins designed to spread quickly and kill hundreds. Other forms of chemical warfare could come through ISIS combining drones with stores of gasoline. When dropped are ignited, gasoline vapour has 15 times the explosive energy of TNT weighing the same amount.
But not all terrorist drones are necessarily killing machines. Instead, much of the threat faced is from drones that are used for a much more serious threat, surveillance. Due to their size and ability to be controlled from so far away, drones can be used in the US and the UK to spy on sensitive areas, such as army bases and busy city areas, in order to find weaknesses to exploit.
The difficulty in protecting against terrorist drones
Drones as a means of warfare are something that the Western world has long been unprepared to deal with. Due to their compact size, affordability, ease-of-purchase and remote capabilities, drones are incredibly hard to detect and bring down. Local defence ministries are well equipped to detect larger aerial vehicles, such as planes, but their drone detection systems are lacking. Instead, we must look to other innovative solutions to help stop this threat.
So, how can you protect yourself or your business?
Well, you’re likely aware of the world’s leading commercial drone manufacturer, DJI. They offer the most advanced consumer drones currently available on the market. As such, it seems only fitting that they also provide what we believe to be the leading drone mitigation system currently available. It’s called the DJI AeroScope.
This purpose-built system is capable of tracking the telemetry data of DJI aircraft within a radius of up to 12.5 miles. It works by picking up on the connection system between the controller and the DJI drone. It can then relay detailed information about the drone to the person operating it. In turn, they can prepare their defences for the incoming drone and take necessary steps to bring it down.
The DJI AeroScope is becoming increasingly popular for UK-based businesses looking to protect their businesses against both terrorist and surveillance threats. However, installing and making the best use of this advanced drone detection system can be complicated. That’s why many businesses are turning to Coptrz as the country’s leading certified supplier of the DJI AeroScope. To find out more, contact our team today.