Mexican police discovered four men carting a kamikaze drone equipped with an IED and a remote detonator last week, in what analysts say is an example of cartels figuring out how to weaponizing UAVs.
The disturbing development is a manifestation of something top American security chiefs warned Congress about earlier this year, when they said they feared terrorists would begin to use drones to attack targets within the U.S.
Drug cartels had already been turning to drones to smuggle their product into the U.S., and had begun using IEDs in their turf struggles — but now at least cartel appears to have put the two technologies together, according to Mexican reports analyzed by Small Wars Journal.
“A weaponized drone/unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)/unmanned aerial system (UAS) with a remotely detonated IED allows for a precision strike to take place against an intended target,” Robert Bunker and John P. Sullivan, the authors of the new analysis, wrote.
The drone-IED combination was found in central Mexico, by federal police who did a traffic stop on a stolen pickup truck with four men in it.
Police found an AK-47, ammunition, phones and what the Small Wars Journal authors said appears to be a 3DR Solo Quadcopter, which retails for about $250 online. Taped to the drone was an IED, which could be trigger by remote detonator.
Source: Associated Press