Vultures Row: A New Type of Terror

A New Type of Terror

There is a new potential threat to national security. With today’s advanced electronics and micro technology anyone with the right tools, materials and access to the internet can build an unmanned aerial vehicle, or in common English, a remote controlled mini-airplane. Like any tool, these planes could be utilized for good or bad purposes.

In 2002 the government of Columbia raided a FARC base and found nine remotely piloted vehicles. In 2005 the Israeli military confirmed that Hezbollah flew a UAV over Israel in what the Terrorist Organization/Palestinian Government called a surveillance mission.

A UAV is easy to build with most if not all parts available at local hobby stores or on line. Some models can have a wingspan of more than fifteen feet, with a payload of up to 110 pounds. Because these small light aircraft are made from either wood or synthetic materials remain mostly undetectable by radar. If they are detected most software filters them out as a being a “ghost echo” of a flock of birds. The most alarming issue is that with the proliferation of global positioning systems, a UAV can now be programmed to hit a target with near pinpoint accuracy.

The only good news is that the cost of a UAV is expensive to build and operate. It does take some level of skill to fly one with any degree of accuracy which translates to hours of operation on the pilot/controller’s part. The limited payload is more suited to tactical levels of operations; however the terror factor of such a weapon could be enormous if they are deployed in numbers large enough to strike fear. One only has to remember the Washington D.C. area snipers a few years ago to see the fear and panic that a several well placed rifle shots caused, imagine the level of panic a few well placed explosions would result in.


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