ISIS is trying to smuggle drones from Europe for global attacks
Even though it has lost most of its territory, ISIS is trying to smuggle drones from Europe to perpetrate global attacks, said a report late Monday by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
On October 15, a report emerged saying that operatives of the security apparatus of the jihadi Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham raided an ISIS hideout north of Idlib, Syria.
During the raid, they found a substantial volume of military equipment, including a drone ISIS had been using for collecting intelligence, said the report.
Finding that ISIS still has drone capabilities similar to drones it used in April 2017, and finding this only one month after Danish authorities detained two men from an ISIS network for purchasing drones in Europe, exposes the threat.
The Meir Amit center said that Denmark’s detention of the two men along with finding the ISIS drone in Syria only two weeks ago proves that the organization is still making efforts to purchase drones to smuggle into Syria.
An examination of the photo of the seized drone shows that it’s a Phantom 4 Advanced model. It is manufactured by the DJI Chinese technology company, a leading producer of drones used for civilian purposes.
The intelligence center said that “it may be assumed that ISIS in the Idlib region and maybe in other regions in Syria and Iraq, possesses additional drones of this type.” In the past, international smuggling by the terrorist group has used 16 different companies in at least seven countries to smuggle weapons.
It has used drones for offensive purposes, which was first discovered in October 2016, when an IED (improvised explosive device) attached to a drone killed two Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers, said the report, quoting a July publication of the Combating Terrorism Center at the West Point Military Academy.
Furthermore, in early 2017, ISIS operated armed drones against Iraqi army targets during the campaign over Mosul. However, with the broader collapse of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the group has lost a considerable part of its drone and other operational capabilities.
In spite of the heavy blow, ISIS continued making offensive uses of drones, including on October 24 of last year, when it released video footage of using a drone in order to drop IEDs on a large ammunition depot of the Syrian army at Deir ez-Zor Municipal Stadium.