Illegal use of drones a major scurity threat, say experts

Planting bombs in public places to cause widespread human casualties may still be the most popular modus operandi of terrorists, but military experts say that the next big security threat exists in the skies in the form of drones.

Illegal and unauthorised use of drones could pose a very serious challenge to the country unless the government formulates rules and guidelines to allow their usage, they warned.
“The government is yet to frame proper and comprehensive guidelines on this (unauthorised drone use),” said Col (Retd) M P Choudhary, pointing to the recent use of drones above Mumbai, the country’s commercial capital.

“Civil Aviation, Defence and Home ministries must also apply their minds on this issue. We need to treat it as urgent, taking into account the potential threat perceptions,” he added.

Col Choudhary was one of the founders of modern special forces in India, as he raised the country’s first Anti-Hijack Squad, which later became Special Action Group and then took shape into National Security Guard. “A young B Tech student could as well make a drone....it depends on how much it can fly or how much weight it can carry.”

“We have to think of the worst case scenario, which is if such drones could pack five kilograms of explosives. If they do, you could well think of the extent of damage,” he said, adding that the US and European countries have come up with regulations restricting drone usage only to the armed forces and intelligence agencies. No other agencies should be allowed to use the drones, with educational and recreational purposes regarded a rare exception.

“We should also remember that they (drones) could be launched on a city from outside...from another city or from the sea,” Col Choudhary said.

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