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Jammu Air Base Attack – India at UN said Terrorists using Weaponised Drones needs serious attention

Jammu Air Base Attack – India at UN said Terrorists using Weaponised Drones needs serious attention


  • GS 3 || Security || Internal Security Threats || Terrorism

Why in the news?

Speaking at the UN, India’s Special Secretary said the world needs to pay serious attention to the possibility of the use of weaponised drones for terrorist activities against strategic assets.

What happened recently?

Terrorists’ use of drones to attack the IAF Jammu facility represents a significant shift in the nature of the danger and countermeasures. Military convoys, as well as important assets and vital locations, are susceptible.


  • While the use of rogue drones by terrorists, traffickers, or unfriendly countries has been identified as a significant worry in recent years, India’s capabilities to combat this danger is still in its infancy.
  • In the wake of several drone sightings in and around Jammu city, and days after an attack on an Indian Air Force (IAF) station at the airport, India informed the United Nations General Assembly that the potential use of weaponized drones for terror operations requires serious consideration.
  • Misuse of ICTs, such as the internet and social media, for terrorist propaganda, radicalisation, and cadre recruitment; misuse of innovative payment methods and crowdfunding platforms for terrorism finance; The exploitation of new technology for terrorist objectives, as well as the abuse of existing technologies for terrorist purposes, have emerged as the most severe challenges to terrorism, and will determine the counter-terrorism paradigm moving forward.

Drone Attack- Raising concern:

  • Drones have become an immediate threat and challenge for security organizations worldwide because to their low cost and easy availability. Terrorist groups have used these aerial/sub-surface vehicles for nefarious objectives such as intelligence gathering, weapon/explosives delivery, and targeted assaults.
  • Terrorists use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to transfer weapons across borders, prompting member states to pay special attention to the possibility of terrorists deploying armed drones to strike strategic and commercial assets. At the United Nations, India also voiced concern that the internet and social media platforms have become tools in the arsenal of international terrorist organizations.
  • Terrorists might use ongoing advances in new technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics, “deep fakes,” blockchain, and the dark web.

How to counter the drone threat?

  • Several commercial defense companies have begun to provide off-the-shelf anti-drone technologies to resist hostile Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, throughout the years.
  • Companies based in Israel, the United States, and even China have developed anti-drone systems based on existing technology such as radars, frequency jammers, optic and thermal sensors, and so on.

What are the existing anti-drone systems?

  • Rafael, the Israeli defense firm that created the Iron Dome missile system, is now working on the Drone Dome. Drones are detected and intercepted by the Drone Dome in the same way as incoming missiles are detected and intercepted by the Iron Dome.
  • The Drone Dome may jam instructions sent to a hostile drone and impede views transmitted back to the drone operator, in addition to the static radars, radio frequency sensors, and cameras it uses to offer “360-degree surveillance.”
  • Its distinguishing feature, however, is its precise precision in firing high-powered laser beams at targets.

New technologies used by terrorist:

  • Use of Artificial Intelligence by terrorist organisations: It’s a logical assumption that terrorist groups would – and do – use AI to their advantage. Terrorists, like us, are expected to benefit from machine learning and other forms of AI, such as in military operations planning and data collection. AI-assisted automated procedures, particularly when it comes to cyber-attacks, might potentially enhance the breadth and impact of these attacks.
  • States and Artificial Intelligence: Terrorists using “AI killer robots” is a fear that runs parallel to the debate about their military use. Despite the fact that the (US) military does not yet use autonomous targeting systems that do not require human decision-making, there are widespread concerns about this possibility and the ethical difficulties it presents.
  • Killer drones: Because of their low cost and widespread availability, drones have quickly become a danger and a challenge for security agencies all over the world. Terrorist groups have employed these aerial/subsurface vehicles for malicious purposes such as gathering intelligence, delivering weapons/explosives, and carrying out specific attacks.
  • Online technologies: In addition to AI and drones, the usage of the Internet should be considered when addressing the threat of terrorists using technology. Terrorists utilize digital and Internet technologies for two important and well-researched areas: propaganda and communications.
  • 3D printing: The incident in Halle highlights another potentially hazardous application of cutting-edge technology: the use of 3D printers to create improvised weapons that may be used in terrorist operations.
  • Toxic Industrial Chemicals: Chemicals made for industrial, commercial, and medical operations are referred to as toxic industrial chemicals (TICs). Chemical weapons can come in the form of gas, liquid, or solid (including particles) TICs. Vapours that impact the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs cause TIC exposure.
  • Chemical Terrorism: It has to do with chemical-agent-based terrorism. Terrorists backed by governments and non-state entities with significant financial and technological resources may be able to get explosives, incendiaries, and chemical agents identical to those employed by armed forces.

How do you prevent a drone attack?

  • Locating tiny drones and the people who use them is extremely challenging. To combat this threat, drone detecting technologies and subsequent countermeasures must be deployed.
  • Drone detection can be done using radio frequency (RF), conventional radars calibrated to detect drones, or electro-optic payloads that employ thermal imaging.
  • Once the drone has been located, you can employ a kinetic energy weapon against it, or jam its GPS to confuse it.
  • Iron Dome and other missile defense systems in Israel act in a matter of seconds. Drone detection and action will happen at a breakneck speed, but achieving that level of competence will take time.
  • Critics believe that by prohibiting the use of drones for the delivery of products and food, the Centre would stifle their use in the e-commerce and logistics industries.
  • The blanket limitation on the height limit of 400 feet was also criticized. According to them, this would limit the use of drones to amateurs and prevent them from being used for mapping or surveying.
  • Example of drone attack- In 2018, Syrian rebels used homemade drones to target Russian military installations in Syria, while Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro barely avoided death when a drone flying towards him exploded a short distance away.


Many terrorist groups are well organized, technically sound, have well-connected global Networks. It is important to not fall into the trap of failure of imagination when it comes to assessing new threats.

Mains oriented question:

While terrorism is global concern and global action are taken and discussion on terrorism as concern are done on various International forum but addition of technologies in terrorism is again greater challenge for world. Comment. (250 words)