CTC Perspectives - The Islamic State's Drone Documents: Management, Acquisitions, and DIY Tradecraft   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Much has been made of the Islamic State drone threat ever since the group killed two Kurdish soldiers in October 2016 with a bomb hidden within one of its drones that Kurdish forces downed in Iraq. The Islamic State was able to achieve this feat through an act of deception, as the two Kurdish soldiers were killed by the bomb after they had taken the drone back to their base to inspect it. Since this type of attack had not been conducted before, the drone was an unassuming place for the Islamic State to hide an improvised explosive device. But that trick only works occasionally, and it likely has a limited shelf life. [...] The recent discovery of a small batch of internal Islamic State documents, which were recovered in Iraq and provided to the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC), provides an inside look into how the group has sought to cobble together, develop, and enhance its drone capabilities as well as manage its drone program. The paragraphs below provide a description of the documents and an overview of their significance in light of what is already known about the Islamic State's use of drones."

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Combating Terrorism Center at West Point: http://www.ctc.usma.edu
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