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Global Security and Intelligence Studies

Global Security and Intelligence Studies

Abstract

The recent advent of the consumer drone offers terrorists new capabilities in sophisticated attacks, particularly lone wolves who can afford these drones and benefit from standoff and other features. Although terrorists have not yet employed explosive-laden drones in domestic attacks, drones available on the market can carry a payload sufficient to achieve lethal or destructive objectives sought by lone wolves motivated by diverse ideologies targeting long-term static, short-term static, or mobile targets. The Diffusion of Innovations Theory suggests that explosive-laden drones are not an immediate threat, but as pioneering terrorists experiment with consumer drones, this tactic may become more commonplace as existing defense mechanisms fail to protect targeted buildings, events and individuals. As consumer drones become more popular and more sophisticated, countermeasures and government policies must keep stride with this new and evolving threat.

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