Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/4/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Al Qaeda is seeking ways to stop Allied drones.

Drones are a pillar of the U.S. counter-terrorism network around the world. Tasked with hunting al Qaeda terrorists, the drones send death from above and beyond the horizon. There is nothing al Qaeda fears more than American drones. In response, the organization is working to undermine our technology and defeat the drones.

Civilians from Pakistan's tribal areas protest the use of drones over their homes.

Civilians from Pakistan's tribal areas protest the use of drones over their homes.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/4/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: drones, al Qaeda, arms race, terrorists, Snowden, leak, report, manual, lasers, encryption, arms race


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, the Washington Post detailed some of the efforts taken by al Qaeda to find a way to defeat drone technology. Drones are responsible for numerous kills of al Qaeda fighters and leaders, and are the bane of that organization.

Drones are in widespread use and are a mainstay of covert operations, so it's no surprise al Qaeda is working hard on countermeasures to defeat them.

Drones are designed to be stealthy, so they tend to be quiet, high-flying, and are painted to provide camouflage when flying at altitude. Despite the difficulty in detecting them, they can be spotted. According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, which detail al Qaeda efforts to defeat the drones, al Qaeda has tried several approaches including the deployment of rudimentary listening devices.

If al Qaeda operatives can tell the direction a drone is approaching, they may be able to evade detection or a subsequent attack.

In addition to listening for drones, al Qaeda operatives have tried to spot and even jam laser designators used by drones in the moments before they fire their Hellfire missiles. Guided by lasers emitted by the drone, the missiles are deadly accurate. However, if terrorists can detect they are being "lased" they can scatter before a missile hits.

Other methods include pointing lasers at the drones to blind them. So far, these tactics have yielded little result. However, like all super-weapons, the drones have one glaring weakness which is their reliance on communications.

Drones are remotely operated and are constantly receiving and transmitting signals. When these signals have been unencrypted, terrorist hackers have managed to intercept the communications. They have not yet managed to take control or destroy any drones, but they have managed to intercept video feeds. This is far from devastating. On the contrary, in Iraq it demonstrated our ability to monitor their movements in real-time, so hapless insurgents there were simply treated to the horrifying spectacle of American power.

Despite the potential to demoralize the enemy, those communications were subsequently encrypted.

Last year, Iran claimed to bring down a drone by means of an "electronic ambush" however officials dispute this and say it is more likely that an internal malfunction resulted in the autonomous crash-landing of the drone. As evidence, the Iranians have not been able to repeat their accomplishment.

Drone aircraft have the ability to fly autonomously and when they lose communications, reportedly a common and ordinary occurrence, they fly gentle loops until communications are restored. If communications remain offline, the drones can use GPS to fly themselves home and land.

Al Qaeda has been confounded by drone warfare, and their attempts to defend themselves are ongoing. Operations manuals dating back to 2006 and widely distributed reveal the terror organization has considered a variety of approaches. More novel approaches include the deployment of hobby-aircraft, cheap, radio controlled aircraft that can be equipped with cameras to search for drones. This tactic has not worked.

Other attempts include efforts to spoof the drones' GPS, and to shoot them down with surface-to-air missiles. Al Qaeda has even put out an open call for engineers and computer experts to find ways to stop the drone offensive.

Although the terrorist organization has failed to stop the drones, documents revealed by Snowden show that the CIA and other services are keenly aware that clever, low-tech tactics can interfere and even mitigate the effectiveness of drones.

Also of concern is growing anti-drone sentiment in the United States. As drones are authorized to fly over the U.S. and are being employed by law enforcement agencies, privacy concerns are developing. Intelligence officials are worried that public backlash against drones could crimp development and operations of the otherwise effective craft.

Of course, the greatest impact of drones is psychological. Terrorists and their sympathizers in restive regions say that drones are a constant worry and they take a mental toll. At any moment, death can come from above. It creates an atmosphere of terror where the terrorists and their families are themselves being terrorized with the possibility of instant, blazing death.

Tragically, drones also hit innocent people, including women and children, much like terrorism everywhere else. This raises an ontological question that we should consider. Have we become like that which we despise?

For now, this is a question for others to debate. While al Qaeda scrambles to find whatever solution they can to a high-tech threat, our operations continue as Predators and Reapers take their grim toll on those who would harm us.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Middle East

Islamic State takes mounting death count in Syria Watch

Image of Both Kurdish and Iraqi forces have been battling ISIS on the ground.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State has taken heavy casualties over the past several days. At least 70 fighters for the terror group have been dropped off over the past several days at a hospital in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad. The town is on the Turkey-Syrian border about 50 miles ... continue reading


Christians, Yazidis and Turkmen face genocide in Iraq Watch

Image of At least half a million people have been forced to flee their villages in Ninewa province, home to minority communities for thousands of years, according to the report, From Crisis to Catastrophe: the situation of minorities in Iraq.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

More than 12,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq so far this year, mainly by Islamic State (IS), and minorities facing ethnic cleansing are the principal victims, according to a report published on Thursday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Minority Rights ... continue reading


Deadly Sarin bombs now in hands of Islamic State Watch

Image of Officials warned that they had witnessed equipment there being looted on CCTV whereupon the militants shut the surveillance cameras down.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An even more alarming fact has risen to the fore in the war in the Middle East, ISIS controls a vast compound in Iraq containing 2,500 rusting chemical weapons rockets, according to the Iraqi government. While the site was bombed by the U.S. during the 1991 ... continue reading


Do you still think Islam is a 'religion of peace?' These 10 verses from the Koran will show you the truth Watch

Image of Islam is the religion of peace. Care to disagree?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

From Christian apologist and blogger David Wood, comes more evidence, ripped directly from the pages of the Koran, that Islam is not a religion of peace. Wood located ten verses which will help readers understand the Islamic State's religious motivation for their ... continue reading


180,000 people flee Iraqi city of Hit after ISIS claims town Watch

Image of ISIS has been on the offensive in the desert province of Anbar, bordering Syria, in recent weeks. The town of Hit fell on October 2 and nearby Kubaisa on October 4.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Iraqi city of Hit fell to Islamic State earlier this month. The bloodshed in Iraq's western Anbar province has forced up to 180,000 people to flee, according to the United Nations. ISIS has been on the offensive in the desert province of Anbar, bordering ... continue reading


ISIS justifies enslavement of women as 'the revival of slavery before the Hour' Watch

Image of ISIS forced tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee their homes in August when troops stormed many of the community's towns and cities in Iraqi Kurdistan.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The kidnapping, enslavement and trafficking of women would not be condoned by any true religion - Islamic State, according to an online publications justifies their practice as "the revival (of) slavery before the Hour," referring to Judgment Day. While that ... continue reading


ISIS continues push for control of Kobani Watch

Image of Monday was among the most violent days in Kobani since ISIS launched its assault. Sounds of fierce fighting, including gunfire and explosions, have been heard along the Syria-Turkey border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kobani, a key Syrian city on the border Turkey remains under attack as Islamic State troops push for control. If it retains control of the town, Islamic State will also score a major victory in neighboring Iraq, taking a strategically important military base in ... continue reading


Between lulls in the fighting, screams can be heard in Kobane Watch

Image of An Islamic State terrorist shared this image of himself posing with the severed head of a female Kurdish fighter.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The battle for the city of Kobane in Syria continues as Kurdish defenders fight to the last bullet against the Islamic State. Survivors who have escaped across the Turkish border have told reporters of beheadings, mutilations, and other atrocities committed by Islamic ... continue reading


WAKE UP - Islamic State magazine makes plain - There is NO SUCH THING as a 'moderate' Muslim Watch

Image of the Islamic State is publishing a magazine with a picture of their flag over the Vatican. It's a deliberate message.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has made very clear that "moderate" Muslims are apostates and that they alone represent true Islam. They have stated this in an English language publication where they also promise to conquer Rome (Catholics). LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamic State poised for massive victory near Baghdad Watch

Image of Kurdish soldiers in Iraq have so far managed to halt the advance of the Islamic State in the north, but Iraqi army forces are seeing defeat after defeat in western Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fighters from the Islamic State are nearing victory in Anbar province, Iraq's westernmost region, while also nearing another victory in northern Syria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Iraqi army forces and Kurdish militia forces are struggling to contain the ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter