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The Military Transportation Technology Hardware

ISIS Is Dropping Bombs With Drones In Iraq (popsci.com) 199

In addition to rifles, mortars, artillery and suicidal car bombs, ISIS has recently added commercial drones, converted into tiny bombs, into the mix of weapons it uses to fight in Iraq. In October, The New York Times reported that the Islamic State was using small consumer drones rigged with explosives to fight Kurdish forces in Iraq. Two Kurdish soldiers died dismantling a booby-trapped ISIS drone. Several months later and it appears the use of drones on the battlefield is becoming more prevalent. Popular Science reports: Previously, we've seen ISIS scratch-build drones, and as Iraqi Security Forces retook parts of Mosul, they discovered a vast infrastructure of workshops (complete with quality control) for building standardized munitions, weapons, and explosives. These drone bombers recently captured by Iraqi forces and shared with American advisors appear to be commercial, off-the-shelf models, adapted to carry grenade-sized payloads. "It's not as if it is a large, armed UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] that is dropping munitions from the wings -- but literally, a very small quadcopter that drops a small munition in a somewhat imprecise manner," [Col. Brett] Sylvia, commander of an American military advising mission in Iraq, told Military Times. "They are very short-range, targeting those front-line troops from the Iraqis." Because the drones used are commercial models, it likely means that anti-drone weapons already on hand with the American advisors are sufficient to stop them. It's worth noting that the bomb-dropping drones are just a small part of how ISIS uses the cheap, unmanned flying machines. Other applications include scouts and explosive decoys, as well as one-use weapons. ISIS is also likely not the first group to figure out how to drop grenades from small drones; it's a growing field of research and development among many violent, nonstate actors and insurgent groups. Despite the relative novelty, it's also likely not the deadliest thing insurgents can do with drones.
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ISIS Is Dropping Bombs With Drones In Iraq

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  • by theendlessnow ( 516149 ) * on Monday January 16, 2017 @07:20PM (#53679551)
    In violation of several Samsung patents, I'm sure.
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      And therein lies the answer. We choke ISIS out with an army of deadwood patent attorneys.

      • And therein lies the answer. We choke ISIS out with an army of deadwood patent attorneys.

        I thought you were going to say "choke ISIS out with an army of returned Li ion explosive batteries"... wow. I guess I'm thinking of a way of disposing of dangerous waste products in a way that's inhuman and unacceptable to anyone but a group like ISIS... but hey... patent attorneys was a much more realistic ending to the sentence my brain's pre-read. ;)

  • by Noishkel ( 3464121 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @07:26PM (#53679597)
    Only with a multiple million dollar registry of every single drone bought and sold in the US can we hope. Otherwise the terrorist will just build them out of raw components anyway and you'll make the entire thing look silly.
    • ... hope to stop the terrorist.... Yay for Aphasia.
    • Well considering what was pictured looked like an RC airplane I'm not sure your drone registry will do much friend.
  • on woot! for $800 last week. Sure I know it's a refurb, but how long does it have to work?

  • by ravenshrike ( 808508 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @07:35PM (#53679653)

    Suddenly extremely applicable life skills outside of bird hunting.

  • this was only a matter of time, with IMU's and position sensors so widespread and cheap today, all we can do is to try and restrict export to these countries, but sooner or later it will get out there too.
    • this was only a matter of time, with IMU's and position sensors so widespread and cheap today, all we can do is to try and restrict export to these countries, but sooner or later it will get out there too.

      This is FUD.

      I read that as the US buying every single part that might be made into a copter drone, or a Model airplane, then burning them or something. We are not the only country in the world, we might as well ban lead, iron, and brass - the basic materials of firearms and their ammunition.

      We can hardly ban the export when it is other countries that have them to export. Unless we plan on Fighting the entire world, a remarkably bad idea since we are in the middle of the longest war in US history, af

    • Germans did it [wikipedia.org] seventy years ago. And this was before miniature computers. All the countries [wikipedia.org] were in on it too.
      • yeah, but they had a lot of manufacturing infrastructure, and they had some very good scientists. i don't see IS making mechanical gyroscopes on a large scale, and every discarded smartphone from the last decade makes for a perfect drone platform.
    • by saider ( 177166 )

      all we can do is to try and restrict export to these countrie

      We import these sensors - most are made in Asia.

  • It's good to see they have an outlet for their creative energy.
    • Indeed. Otherwise they might use their talents to hurt someone.

      Imprecisely dropping hand grenades seems like more of an act of desperation than strategy.

      What next? Sticking M80's into Estes model rockets (like we did as kids)?

  • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @08:03PM (#53679771)

    Our Nobel Peace Prize President dropped 26,000 bombs (real bombs, not little hand grenades) last year on various brown people (even though we are not at war).
    This effort by ISIS is a pittance in comparison.
    BTW, has anyone considered that it might be preferable to address their grievances rather than just bomb them?

    • by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @08:09PM (#53679805) Homepage
      In this case, their grievance is that we exist. ISIS wants a new caliphate to control the entire Middle East and they want to pursue holy war, you can't really negotiate around either of those even if they wanted to.
      • by mspohr ( 589790 )

        So, nothing to do with all of the US troops and bases occupying their territory?

        • The majority US troops pulled out in 2010 per Iraqi agreements. Then shia Iraqis started writing g religious laws that affected sunni Iraqis more than shia Iraqi. The sunnis tribal leaders got pissed and invited in India to assist in force the shias to back off. Instead ISIS took military control of sunni areas. If you look you can find sunni tribal leaders saying they could stop ISIS in the very early days. Those leaders were killed after that.

          For the record Iran is primary shia, and suadi is sunni.

          • " invited in India to assist in force the shias to back off"

            Did you mean someone else or did India really get involved?

          • The majority US troops pulled out in 2010 per Iraqi agreements.

            These people are fighting a many thousands of years old war with each other. 2010? Might as well be the present. I personally believe that they should be allowed to kill each other off without our intervention. I think it is a genetic predisposition, a sort of ability to forever hold a grudge, coupled with humanitie's love for killing other humans. Let 'em have their fun - not our business unless they get ouside their borders.

            • Islam is only 1437. Like Christianity is 2016 years old

              So a multi thousand year warranty is wrong.

              • by brit74 ( 831798 )
                Technically, he never said it started with Islam.
                • Technically, he never said it started with Islam.

                  And it definitely didn't. This is a mighty violent place, irrespective of which desert deity one prays too. Their god is a psychotic mental infant who loves to kill his creation. This is because man makes God in his own image.

              • Islam is only 1437. Like Christianity is 2016 years old

                So a multi thousand year warranty is wrong.

                You figure that they only warred with each other after Islam was created? Don't confuse current religions with the ongoing fighting in the middle east.

                From the multiple Byzantine-Sassanid wars. The third Century AD was constant warfare in southern Arabia going back further to pre Christian times, we have the Kingdom of Hadhramaut conqured by the Himyarites (somewhere around 300 BCE Anyhow, I don't want to bore you to death with the names and places - I'd suggest looking up the history of the middle east

            • I think it is a genetic predisposition

              It's the food. Have you ever had tabbouleh?

        • by dj245 ( 732906 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @09:40PM (#53680173) Homepage

          So, nothing to do with all of the US troops and bases occupying their territory?

          Boy, people have short memories. Iraq didn't renew a security agreement back in 2011 [wikipedia.org] for political reasons. The local population didn't want it. The US was mostly withdrawn from Iraq at the end of December 2011. It took about 6 months [wikipedia.org]before ISIS took advantage of the situation.

          From 2nd link-

          In July 2012, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement online announcing that the group was returning to former strongholds from which US troops and the Sons of Iraq had driven them in 2007 and 2008.[219] He declared the start of a new offensive in Iraq called Breaking the Walls, aimed at freeing members of the group held in Iraqi prisons.[219] Violence in Iraq had begun to escalate in June 2012, primarily with AQI's car bomb attacks, and by July 2013, monthly fatalities exceeded 1,000 for the first time since April 2008.[220]

          I'm too lazy to look up when the US sent sizable forces back to Iraq, but it was only on request and permission of the Iraqi government.

          • by mspohr ( 589790 )

            It's not just Iraq. The US has bases in most middle east countries.
            It's our oil, after all and we need to protect it.
            http://fpif.org/u-s-empire-bas... [fpif.org]

            • All 16% [energytrendsinsider.com] of it.
              • You do realise that 16% of 20 millions of barrels a day is still a fuckton? That is, in fact, as much as the total oil consumption of Germany. Moreover the oil market is a global market, meaning that if a source of oil disappears, oil prices rise everywhere, not just in the countries that were direct customers of that particular source.

          • I'm too lazy to look up when the US sent sizable forces back to Iraq, but it was only on request and permission of the Iraqi government.

            So you figure tha twe have to be th epolice there in perpetuity? Because they aren't going to behave themselves unless a much superior force is there to enforce a martial law.

            We could be there a hundred years, and as soon as we left, they'd be at it again. We'd just have delayed it by 100 years, and both sides would consider us their enemy. The only real hope - and it isn't much of one - is to let them kill each other off to the point of mutual exhaustion.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        In this case, their grievance is that we exist. ISIS wants a new caliphate to control the entire Middle East and they want to pursue holy war, you can't really negotiate around either of those even if they wanted to.

        I think you misspelled "the world", basically their strategy is to generate so much resentment towards Muslims (you know, 1.6 billion people - bigger than declaring war on China) that they get two new recruits for every one that's killed. The only reason it's not working is that so far we haven't taken the bait. We grieve for the dead, increase the military effort but we don't lash out in revenge. I sorta expected some militant nutters to go postal in a mosque or to burn them to the ground but apart from a

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ScentCone ( 795499 )

      Our Nobel Peace Prize President dropped 26,000 bombs (real bombs, not little hand grenades)

      Probably a lot more than that. You're not understanding the usefulness of air strikes on this sort of combatant.

      on various brown people

      Right, right. It's because of their skin pigment! For reference, resorting to lazy race baiting doesn't really win arguments (see the most recent election results as an example)

      (even though we are not at war).

      Yes, I can see you're having some trouble grasping current events. Please don't do anything dangerous to other people in the future. Like, voting.

    • Also it's a pittance compared to Rumsfeld+Cheney's effort: Number of people killed by Obama's drone strikes: Less then 1000 [thebureaui...igates.com]

      Number of people killed by Rumsfeld+Cheney's war in iraq over a 110000 [wikipedia.org]. A difference of 2 orders of magnitude.

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      "Our Nobel Peace Prize President dropped 26,000 bombs (real bombs, not little hand grenades) last year on various brown people (even though we are not at war)."

      Why make it about skin colour? Your president was the same colour but he very clearly didn't bomb himself, so that was obviously not a factor in determining targets so why bring it up?

      "BTW, has anyone considered that it might be preferable to address their grievances rather than just bomb them?"

      Whilst I'd always agree for rational actors such as the

    • BTW, has anyone considered that it might be preferable to address their grievances rather than just bomb them?

      The grievances of psychopaths that kill small children, rape and torture girls, burn alive people only because they are of the wrong religion or the wrong shade of Islam? Fuck them and fuck you. Nobody is interested in their grievances except Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

    • Stop belittling them! If they had the biggest war industry on the planet, I'm sure they would easily drop as many bombs, but they're doing as much as they can with the little they have!

    • This effort by ISIS is a pittance in comparison.
      BTW, has anyone considered that it might be preferable to address their grievances rather than just bomb them?

      I think people like daesh have put themselves into a position where they no longer are relevant to that discussion. I mean - do they think they address the abuses of the West and their many inequalities and wrongdoing by blowing up defenceless people in Syria and Iraq? Or by claiming responsibility for whichever sickening atrocity against women and children is carried out by deranged killers? Whatever anybody is going to do to address the grievances of the oppressed people of the world, it is clear that dae

  • Learning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrahamJ ( 241784 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @08:03PM (#53679773)
    Killing people with remote control aircraft, I wonder where they got that idea. They're getting almost as good at killing people as Americans.
    • Killing people with remote control aircraft, I wonder where they got that idea. They're getting almost as good at killing people as Americans.

      Well now - did you see that mighty "drone" they make? A freaking cheap RC model airplane. Hard to imagine a simple mortar not being a lot more effective. A lot more firepower, longer range, more reliable. This is silly season FUD, designed to make it look like ISIS has learned something from the US.

      • Well now - did you see that mighty "drone" they make? A freaking cheap RC model airplane. Hard to imagine a simple mortar not being a lot more effective.

        Can you steer a mortar shell as it falls? Perhaps you lack imagination.

        • Well now - did you see that mighty "drone" they make? A freaking cheap RC model airplane. Hard to imagine a simple mortar not being a lot more effective.

          Can you steer a mortar shell as it falls? Perhaps you lack imagination.

          Perhaps I do lack imagination. What my idea of how one preosecutes this sort of thing do is send a lot of mortar bombs to to visit your friends. I mean, I looked at the "drones", and it was a really cheap radio controlled airplane, another is a commercial quadcopter. And dropping the equivalent of a hand grenade. Like World War One biplanes tossing bomblets over the side by hand.

          As Americans with nubile teenage daughters who sunbathe in the back yard, and are bothered by drones can tell us, taking out a

          • I looked at the "drones", and it was a really cheap radio controlled airplane, another is a commercial quadcopter.

            Yes, if you give them autonomy then poof! They're drones. That's how it works! I have a really cheap radio airplane-cum-drone right here, it's based on an old school Apprentice, before they included a RX with an integrated flight controller. So I integrated a mini Arduino Mega 2560, and a 9DOF board (I forget which one), and a BMP280 which at the time had the sweet spot for price/performance, now I would use a MS6511 or whatever it is.

            And dropping the equivalent of a hand grenade. Like World War One biplanes tossing bomblets over the side by hand.

            No! It's the opposite of that! You need to be either within sight or spen

      • Good point - Americans still kill far more people than terrorists.
        • Good point - Americans still kill far more people than terrorists.

          And? Killing other humans is a core competency of humans, and one which humans enjoy greatly, and have enjoyed the practice pretty much since we've been humans. And your acting as if teh evilz 'murrdericans are somehow the only people on earth that kill other humans is just indicitive of some jealousy or need for you to allowyourself a little bit of that other core competency of humans, hatred.

          So when Americans and only Americans and no other humans go around and kill each other in an organized fashion,

  • This is a great case study.

  • This is not a drone, it is R/C model!
  • If they started now, they are not as smart as I thought they were. The materials to buy drones and now even to buy complete drones are so obvious, I wonder why they only start now.

    Is this because they are really ineffective and they use it as a last straw? Or is this now news to push some other agenda?

  • by Tom ( 822 )

    Which manufacturing capacity does ISIS have left? Which engineers have not yet run away from the sinking ship?

    Someone is using ISIS as a test run for their latest toy, and it's not the Russians (they would test by themselves). Expect the US or some of its allies to use weaponized small drones in the next war against the next terrorists, the result of "years of military research".

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