An unconfirmed report from Syria suggests that ISIS has started using small drones packed with explosives as weapons. The first attack was a failure, but if the report is accurate, then it signals a dangerous new terror threat.

The report showed pictures of the remains of a homemade attack drone. It was apparently shot down, along with a second drone that exploded, by Kurdish YPF (“People’s Defence Units”) fighters in Syria. The caption says that both drones carried explosives, and that no YPF fighters were injured in the incident.

ISIS and Drones

Unlike many jihadi groups, ISIS has proven itself tech-savvy—the organization is known for its use of social media, for instance. This latest development is not surprising, as it follows a long history of drone usage. In late 2014, during the battle for Kobane, ISIS started using footage taken from drones in their propaganda videos. Around the same time, ISIS started using quadrotors for battlefield reconnaissance. A number of them, mainly DJI quadrotors, were reportedly shot down or captured by Kurdish fighters, according to a news report from December 2014. These drones were apparently used as artillery spotters, finding targets and correcting the fall or fire for mortar crews. […]