We told you last November that ISIS has been using drones for spying on their opponents, and warned at the time that they were seriously investigating using them to deliver explosives on enemy positions. Well now, ex-security minister Admiral Lord West says it would be ‘even easier’ to use, high load capable, off the shelf drones as weapons in Europe and the United States than the Middle East
In addition, Foreign Office minister Baroness Anelay said there was growing proof that Muslim terrorists are converting the popular toys into weapons in their Middle East heartlands and in Europe. And a NATO chemical weapons expert also claimed the killer drones could be fitted with World War I mustard gas as well as certain nerve agents.
Evidence is growing that ISIS could use drones in the near future to launch attacks on the UK and the United States. She said: “The Government has evidence that Daesh has used small, commercially available unmanned aerial vehicles in Syria and Iraq to extend their surveillance capability, produce propaganda material and carry small improvised explosive devices.”
The new warning has triggered calls for tough new controls on drones which are widely available on the street. Proposed regulations include such things as automatic “off switches” if they approach key landmarks or sensitive sites. Even Admiral Lord West, former head of the Navy and ex-security minister warned that without extra curbs militants could use them to launch an attack here.
He said: “If they are using them there, then in fact they are probably even easier to use them here because you can get them so much easier. Plus, in the Middle East, anything flying is a target, but there are so many private drones here that they can and do go virtually unnoticed.
The Admiral also warned that “Daesh is like water at the top of a building, it spreads across and tries to find little gaps it can run through. “This will be one of the little gaps it is looking at. “I think it would be foolhardy for us not to look to our defenses for this.”
Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former NATO head of chemical and biological weapons, told The Daily Mail that the hi-tech flying machines could be fitted with brutally old fashioned weapons. “These types of drones could carry up to 5kg so a bomb that size could kill a few people,” he said. “They could also put a chlorine or a mustard gas agent on it.”
The Department for Transport is talking to manufacturers about the use of so-called “geo-fencing” technology in their drones, which automatically stops them working in some areas. In addition, government experts are also examining the possibility of introducing a drone registration scheme in the UK, similar to the ones already in place in Ireland and the US.
But while the U.S. has been somewhat on the ball when it comes to defenses against drone attacks, one area that has left a lot to be desired among military planners is the miles of unprotected border not only to our south, but also the north. In addition, drones could easily be launched from small boats off the coast and flown to targets in large coastal cities. This is why the issue of private drones needs a serious oversight program. Even short range drones with limited lift capacity can create a major disaster if properly equipped.
The Sun and Universalfreepress.com contributed to this story
©2016 R. L. Grimes