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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

HISTORIC - Vatican signs treaty with 'State of Palestine' in hopes of promoting peace Watch

Image of Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Gallagher along with Palestinian counterpart, Riad al-Malki, signed a peace treaty recognizing the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Gallagher along with Palestinian counterpart, Riad al-Malki, signed a peace treaty recognizing the "State of Palestine." Signed in a ceremony in the Vatican, the goal is that the recognition will promote peace with Israel - as well ... continue reading


Women, children among the 120 civilians killed in Islamic State takeover of Kobane Watch

Image of The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London said many of the dead were in their homes killed by rocket attacks. Others were struck down by sharp shooters as they tried to run away.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Re-entering the Syrian city of Kobane, long held up as a symbol of Kurdish resistance, Islamic State indiscriminately shot and killed dozens of women and children in a 24-hour period. The death toll hovers around 120, but that number may rise. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Is there an AIDs epidemic in Syria? Islamic State fighter donated infected blood which has spread to several other fighters Watch

Image of An Indonesian man, infected with AIDs, donated blood to the Islamic State, and was executed for it.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Indonesian Islamic State fighter who was infected with AIDs has been executed by the Islamic State after he was accused of knowingly passing on the disease through blood donations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The currently unknown Indonesian man ... continue reading


Two men brutally flogged by Islamic State for breaking Ramadan rules Watch

Image of The two men are shown kneeling in front of a group of ISIS commanders. One of the commanders is seen carrying a large whip.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two men accused of breaking the fast during Ramadan are shown being brutally flogged by Islamic State soldiers in a new series of shocking photographs. LOS ANGELES, Ca (Catholic Online) - As released by the Islamic State Information Office of the State of the ... continue reading


Positive 'happy' Syrian social media campaign #SummerInSyria gathers shocking, heartbreaking images of dead children instead Watch

Image of Syria has been hit hard with a civil war over the last four years.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Summer in Syria online campaign, using the hashtag #SummerInSyria was meant to gather positive images of experiences in the country, despite four years of gruesome civil war. However, instead of gathering positive feedback from social media users, the #SummerInSyria ... continue reading


Kurdish militia sits north of Islamic State capital, awaiting Syrian offensive Watch

Image of So far the only group that has proved capable at defeating the Islamic State has been the Kurdish militias of Iraq and Syria.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Kurdish militia units have had some recent success in their fight for survival against the Islamic State in northern Syria, a leader with the militia says they have no intention of attacking the Islamic State's capital of Raqqa, and such an offensive should ... continue reading


'Women are whipped, sold and stoned' Former female ISIS recruiter warns girls to stay away from ISIS Watch

Image of Many young girls [not pictured] run away from home to join ISIS.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former female jihadi recruiter, responsible for gathering hundreds of susceptible European girls and delivering them to ISIS, now warns young women around the world of the horrifying reality they would be entering. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 23-year-old ... continue reading


ISIS begins minting their own gold coins Watch

Image of The designs found on the coins include a symbol of seven wheat stalks, which is a reference to the Quran and a world map.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Terrorist group Islamic State or ISIS has reportedly began minting its own Islamic Dinar gold coins. The coins bear the inscriptions of the Islamist militant group. One gold dinar is valued at $139 in U.S. dollars. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Violence against migrants: World refugee population reaches 60 million Watch

Image of The Jesuits noted an outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa, where migrants from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Burundi. Migrants were attacked and shops were looted, displacing 2,500 people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The number of people who are living in other countries or are internally displaced in their own countries has surged to an unprecedented 60 million - equal to the population of the United Kingdom. According to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for ... continue reading


Iran parliament chants 'death to America' while voting on bill to kill nuclear talks Watch

Image of Iranian legislatures have signed a bill that may force the nuclear talks between Iran and six other nations to be given up.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another major setback has risen, and this time there may not be anything President Obama can do to create successful nuclear talks between the United States, Iran and five other nations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This major roadblock comes from Iran's ... 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, Genesis 19:15-29
15 When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
2 Probe me, Yahweh, examine me, Test my heart and my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:23-27
23 Then he got into the boat followed by his ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 30th, 2015 Image

First Martyrs of the See of Rome
June 30: The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs 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