Though people have tried to predict where it will strike, no one can ever really know what acts of terror the militant group ISIS will come up with next. In making itself known on social media, ISIS has shown that it knows how to hit the 21st century society where it hurts.
Its newest act of modernizing technology for its own purposes comes in the form of commercial drones. While by no means as deadly as military drones, the Islamic militant group has found a way to turn these flying machines into weapons that terrorize the city of Mosul, Iraq.
A photo posted by Mitch Utterback (@mitchell.utterback) on Jan 7, 2017 at 11:55pm PST
Death From Above
It is known that ISIS has its own workshops that produce a wide array of weaponry. From IEDs to rockets, it looks as though the group's newest innovation is managing to turn commercial drones not just into mobile explosives or scouts, but into couriers of bombs the size of a grenade. This creates a mobile platform with which ISIS can commit acts of terror from a safe vantage point, thereby reducing the group's casualties.
While there have been civilian casualties, there has not been any reported case of ISIS using the drones to drop chemical weapons in populated areas.
Adapting To Countermeasures
Before ISIS utilized drones, one of their main weapons of terror were vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). These bomb-filled vehicles would drive into a crowd or a specific target that ISIS wanted removed and explode upon contact. The Iraqi forces eventually adapted to this tactic with countermeasures such as road spikes that slowed down the vehicle before it reached its destination.
In response, ISIS has taken a page out of the military's book and made their own drones which reign terror from a distance.
Shutting Down The Drones
So how will the Iraqi forces combat this new threat?
With the drones ISIS is using being commercial models, the military plans to use the Batelle DroneDefender — a gun-shaped device that can disable certain drones from a distance, rendering them unusable and crashing down to the ground.
Though it is yet to be seen whether or not disabling an explosive-laden drone will cause its payload to explode, this looks to be one promising countermeasure to ISIS' new terror tactic.
Taking Back Mosul
With the Iraqi forces adapting a lot quicker to ISIS' movements, it looks as though it is only a matter of time before they take back Mosul. About 70 percent of the city has been taken back by the ISF and ISIS looks to be fighting a losing battle.