Several weeks ago The English Channel launched with a spectacular exclusive report that ISIS had used chemical warfare agents in Iraq; against Kurdish troops and civilian villages.
These field reports were brought to us by respected Kurdish researchers; the type who knew what they were talking about, because their families and colleagues had witnessed nerve agent attacks by Saddam Hussein’s Sunni troops in the late 1980s at Halabjah and elsewhere.
Our article back then also condemned the relaxed and inert approach of this so-called Conservative government, to a potentially catastrophic national threat, posed by tech-savvy terrorists, buying a basic hand-launchable drone, then loading it with a CBR payload.
This was not pie-in-the-sky thinking.
After all, Mid East terror groups, including Hezbollah and ISIS, have both routinely and adeptly used battlefield drones. And non-state terror groups have used chemical and biological (CBR) attacks in the past. (It’s not just governments who have a bad track-record in this regard.)
At present, ways to stop drones are few and very ineffective. The USA has spent $13bn trying to jam them. The Netherlands has even invested in training young birds (the type with wings) to attack them.
Last Friday, the highly respected military think-tank, RUSI, heard from the EU’s own Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove.
Mr de Kerchove stated rather sensibly that radicalised techies could deploy drones with chemical substances and attack stadiums; a major risk known for a decade to many in the global security and eventing community.
Richard Bingley, UKIP Shadow Cabinet member for Counter-Terrorism and Cyber Security, said:
“Although Mr de Kerchove represents the EU, I am grateful to him for raising this issue on such an eminent London speakers’ platform as RUSI.
“The threat posed by drones being unregulated in our country, and the ease with which tech-savvy terrorists could exploit our community airspace, is another UK national security scandal waiting to happen.
“Mrs May and her ministers have been repeatedly warned about Drone and CBR scenarios by intelligence agencies and international security experts for over seven years, since coming to power.
“Action by way of new laws, the removal of known terror sympathisers from our streets, and a much bigger investment into intelligence monitoring of drone use and acquisition, and research into jamming them in fast-time, appear to be some options for mitigation.
“But to do nothing, as our so-called ‘government’ has done, is a national scandal.”