Drones as a Weapon of Terror

Video: May 2015 Unofficial Islamic State video release of "How Drones Work" translated into English and Arabic.Aerial SurveillanceDrones have been a key weapon in the fight against terror.  They have been used to conduct aerial surveillance, to identify terrorist training facilities and to carry out strikes against terrorist bases and individuals.  Drone production and use is widespread, with the US Government Accountability Office estimating that anywhere from 44 to 70 countries now have drone programs.  But could this valuable weapon against terror be turned against the United States and her allies?  What measures are in place to prevent terrorists from acquiring drones and what would be the results if they did so?  In order to explore this question, we need to begin by understanding what constitutes an autonomous weapon. Photo:The AQM-34L (Model 147SC) was the definitive low-altitude photo-reconnaissance variant, and by far the most numerous…

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About TRAC’s Core Articles

Commissioned, proprietary analysis of key components of terrorist activities and groups, such as “Recruiting Female Suicide Bombers”, written by experts worldwide.

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About the Contributor

Mary Manjikian

Mary Manjikian is Assistant Professor of Government at the Robertson School of Government at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College, an M.Phil from St...

Wendi See

Wendi Lawson See is a graduate student in Regent University’s School of Government, working towards an MA with a dual concentration in International Politics and Homeland Security and a graduate...