In an effort to gain power and influence, the Mexican cartels are constantly looking for new ways to attack their enemies.
According to The Washington Times, their newest weapon is proof of their terrifying ingenuity. It’s a drone strapped with an IED and remote detonator.
The drug cartels have long been using drones to transport drugs across the border and into the US. In August, a $5,000 drone was caught trying to smuggle $46,000 worth of methamphetamine into California.
They’ve also been using IEDs to sabotage and attack their enemies in territorial wars and when fighting governmental forces. Now they’ve found a way to put these two technological forces together to create a horrifying new weapon.
According to an analysis by Robert Bunker and John P. Sullivan, these drones allow for precise surprise attacks. “A weaponized drone/unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)/unmanned aerial system (UAS) with a remotely detonated IED allows for a precision strike to take place against an intended target.”
These drones can either be used in kamikaze fashion, pummeling into targets to detonate on impact or could be carefully flown to target areas and be detonated remotely once in position.
This particular drone was discovered in a stolen pickup truck in central Mexico during a routine traffic stop. The drone was a 3DR Solo Quadcopter available online for $250 dollars with an IED taped to it. In addition to the drone, an AK-47 and ammunition were found. It is unclear whether the four men in the truck had intentions of using the drone or were merely transporting it.
According to Bunker and Sullivan, these kamikaze drones are a huge step up from the potato bombs cartels had been using before. Potato bombs are spherical bombs loaded with shrapnel, like nails, used to attack victims with extreme lethality.
What’s concerning about these drones is that they fulfill the prophesy US officials have been espousing for a long time — that domestic terrorists would weaponize drones. According to The Washinton Post, ISIS had been using weaponized drones to strike at their enemies in the Middle East and encouraging their followers abroad to do the same.
According to Steven Stalinsky, Executive Director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, “They’re now showing that these devices can be effective on the battlefield. With the way these groups use social media, my worry is that they’re also putting the idea into people’s heads that this is something you can now do.”
Some intelligence officials are worried that terrorists at home will use the drones to spread toxins and other biological weapons. The unfortunate reality is that there are a wide variety of ways these drones can be weaponized to cause destruction, chaos and significant loss of life.
Mexican cartels now have IEDs with remote detonators. Should federal agencies do more to get rid of the cartels?
Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Nicholas J. Rasmussen, says this is a serious new threat to security, “Two years ago this was not a problem. A year ago this was an emerging problem. Now it’s a real problem.”
The implementation of weaponized drones by drug cartels and ISIS raises a serious concern as to the defense measures Americans and the US military should use to defend themselves. The demand for anti-drone security is rising and, hopefully, it will outpace enemies’ ability to weaponize these drones to disastrous effect.