Posted by Jide Babalola | 18 November 2018 | 2,413 times
Faced with increasing loss of personnel and strongholds, ISIS and operatives from its affiliates, including Boko Haram, are nearing advanced stages in turning ‘civilian’ drones into deadly weapons of warfare, expert intelligence and counter-terrorism evaluations from the United States have warned.
A global alert from the US-based Combating Terrorism Centre based in the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, New York, notes that the Islamic State has effectively reached a threatening stage in the use of modified commercial drones as weapons.
The report titled, “The Islamic State and Drones: Supply, Scale and Future Threats” indicates that after recording some measure of success in deploying multitudes of drones for attacks in Syria and Iraq, ISIS and its affiliates are fine-tuning the use of drones in other places.
Citing the Saturday, August 4, 2018 attack against Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, with two drones packed with explosives, the source stated that tactically, drone assassins can be cheap, deadly, easily within the reach of anyone, including dangerous elements and capable of causing incredible destruction without the direct use of personnel.
The spokesman at Defence Headquarters, Brig-General John Agim and Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola who head Nigeria Air Force hinted of the military’s proactive measures and allayed fears.
“The military is already aware and working in concert with other nations in taking appropriate and decisive actions for the maintenance of Nigeria’s territorial integrity and protection of the lives of her citizens.
“The matter you are talking about falls within the focus of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) which has continued to sustain its vital but discreet operations,” said Agim while tactically avoiding to elaborate countermeasures being worked out by DIA and United States intelligence agencies.
Although he refused to disclose classified details of the NAF’s operational plans and strategies, NAF’s spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, stated that while advances are being made in the operational use of drones against Boko Haram terrorists, other long-term plan for the deployment of technology to neutralise major security threats are being put in place under the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
According to The Nation, part of such long-term technological warfare plans includes the Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna where a limited number of specially-screened intakes are now undertaking specialised studies and research in aeronautics, aerospace engineering and avionics at diploma and postgraduate levels.
The report from the US Combating Terrorism Center, which analysed the evolving threat in ISIS and its affiliates’ deep interest in drones, notes that the terrorists have also been studying how to jam signals from American military drones.
•Excerpted from The Nation report
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