Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/4/2013 (11 months 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 (11 months 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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Middle East

World 'cannot keep silent about the existence of the so-called ISIS,' patriarchs declare Watch

Image of The recent summit addressing IS was presided over by Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Meeting at the Maronite Catholic patriarchate at Bkerke, north of Beirut, Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs convened for a special summit to address the crisis in Iraq and Syria. Later joined by the United Nations' special coordinator in Lebanon and the ... continue reading


U.S., Europe next on Islamic State's list to attack, Saudi king warns Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the world grows more appalled by the day about the inhumanities conducted by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah warns that the west is not immune. A staunch ally of both the U.S. and its allies, Saudi King Abdullah bin ... continue reading


Fleeing imminent death, three million Syrians now registered in other countries. That's half the population of Syria. Watch

Image of A bride crossing the Israel-Syria border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The Syrian crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them," Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement. As of this ... continue reading


Video shows rows of bodies as 250 Syrian soldiers DEATH MARCHED, forced to chant praises to their executioners before being killed (Warning: PHOTOS)

Image of Forced to chant praised to their executioners, jubilant ISIS terrorists killed approximately 250 Syrian prisoners.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has committed another atrocity, this time murdering as many as 250 Syrian soldiers following a half-naked death-march across the desert sand to their place of execution. The entire way, as a video reveals, the men were compelled to chant and sing ... continue reading


Yazidi women held prisoners by IS sold as sex slaves, jihadist brides Watch

Image of Women held captive by ISIS have their newborn babies taken from them -- to never be seen again.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In just the latest devaluation of humanity in the ongoing war in Iraq and Syria, hundreds of Yazidi women being held prisoner by Islamic State fighters to be sold off as sex slaves or wives. They are selling these women for as little as $25. They are repeatedly ... continue reading


Islamic State invasion 'pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide' Watch

Image of Patriarch Younan says that in the Kurdistan region,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan has returned from the Kurdish region of Iraq, and what he has seen has been harrowing indeed. What he made of the handiwork of Islamic State, he said, "is a pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted ... continue reading


Second American confirmed killed fighting for ISIS in Syria Watch

Image of Neither overtly religious nor politically vocal, Abdirahmaan Muhumed appears to have been radicalized by jihadi rap videos, romanticized notions of revolution and first-hand accounts of the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A father-of-nine from Minneapolis has become the second confirmed American jihadi to die fighting for ISIS in Syria. Twenty-nine-year-old Abdirahmaan Muhumed is believed to have died last week in the same battle as U.S. rapper Douglas McArthur McCain, likewise ... continue reading


Children forced by IS to watch shootings, beheadings Watch

Image of Other acts of inhumanity include amputations, the stoning to death of women by

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Children in both Iraq and Syria are being forced to watch as IS beheads or shoots its victims at close range. According to a United Nations report, corpses are then displayed on crucifixes with decapitated heads exhibited on sticks -- for days long afterwards. ... continue reading


Gaza ceasefire holds: Israeli PM Netanyahu says war in Gaza ended in 'victory' Watch

Image of At least 2,140 people, chiefly civilians, have been killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Another 11,000 people have been injured.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saying that the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement was "hit hard and got none of its demands," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the seven-week conflict in Gaza ended in "victory." In the meantime, Hamas has also claimed the truce ... continue reading


Would you drink this? 3,000 year old wine found in Israel Watch

Image of Radar imaging of the ancient cellar where more than 40 wine vessels were found, dating back more than 3,000 years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new excavation of a Bronze Age palace in Israel has revealed a massive wine cellar filled with a collection of over 40 large vessels that each contain a differently flavored wine including mint, honey and juniper, researchers say. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... 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, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... 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