22-09-2021 02:08 AM Jerusalem Timing

Pentagon: ISIL Using Drones with IED, Spy Cameras

Pentagon: ISIL Using Drones with IED, Spy Cameras

The Pentagon said that ISIL Takfiir group is posing a growing threat to the United States by deploying small commercial drones armed with improvised explosives devices or spy cameras that can evade detection.

The Pentagon said that ISIL Takfiir group is posing a growing threat to the United States by deploying small commercial drones armed with improvised explosives devices or spy cameras that can evade detection.

The threat led the Defense Department office charged with monitoring and countering improvised explosive devices to ask that Congress approve shifting $20 million to provide seed money for a counter-drone effort.

The funds would bankroll moves to “identify, acquire, integrate and conduct testing” of technologies that would “counter the effects of unmanned aerial systems and the threats they pose to US forces,” according to a budget document sent to Congress last week.

It was part of a request for approval to shift $2.5 billion in defense funds approved for this year from other purposes to reflect changing needs.

In the fight against ISIL, “small and tactical unmanned aerial systems” equipped with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, “pose a direct threat to US and coalition forces,” according to the budget document.

“Just days after the Iraqi forces began occupying Makhmour in Ninevah Province, a video surfaced” on an ISIL web site “showing forces on the ground there, demonstrating they were using the footage in both reconnaissance and propaganda roles,” Army Colonel Chris Garver, the Defense Department’s top spokesman in Iraq, said in an e-mail.

The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency, the Pentagon office that has worked to combat improvised explosive devices since the 2003 Iraq war, has seen ISIL fly “quadcopters and fixed-wing type drones you can buy commercially” as “both an IED delivery system and for reconnaissance,” its spokesman, David Small, said in an e-mail.

The commercial drones used by ISIL have weighed about 50 pounds or less, he said. He didn’t provide details on the number of attacks or resulting casualties.

In addition to using drones with full-motion video to look for attack opportunities and to monitor Iraqi Security Forces, Small said the pilotless aircraft are being used to provide target information for vehicles carrying suicide bombs.

Small said “there is a wide array of technology angles we are looking into" to defeat the drones that would be deployed within two years, if not sooner.