An Islamic State drone dropped an apparent mortar on an Iraqi Security Force humvee during the battle for Mosul, in a recent propaganda video.
ISIS announced the formation of a new drone warfare unit in January, whose sole purpose is to inflict “a new source of horror for the apostates.” The terrorist group said the new unit killed nearly 40 Iraqi soldiers in just one week.
The strike highlights the rising threat of weaponized commercial drones by the terrorist group. ISIS often uses cheaply improvised explosive devices crafted out of PVC pipe and 40-mm grenades.
“The Mosul offensive has seen this kind of drone warfare step up a level, with Islamic State (IS) employing drones armed with an assortment of different munitions, sometimes in conjunction with other assets, to deadly effect,” a recent open-source intelligence study by Bellingcat on ISIS drones notes.
The report continues that the ISIS’s modifications to commercial drones, “enable IS to drop theses munitions from drones, often with surprising accuracy, at heights of up to several hundred, possibly even 1000, feet.”
Georgetown terrorism expert Dr. Bruce Hoffman also warned recently that drone “swarms” could become a facet of western terrorist attacks. Hoffman outline one such scenario telling readers, “picture Paris on November 13, 2015”—the night when people were slaughtered at a rock concert and in sidewalk cafés—“with drone attacks superimposed on top of it. Authorities would have been completely overwhelmed. This elevates our greatest fear, which is simultaneous urban attacks—now with swarming on top of them.”
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