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Militants use off-the-shelf drones for surveillance and propaganda

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
August 29, 2014
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Video footage has emerged showing that ISIS militants deployed a $500 consumer drone to spy on a crucial Syrian airfield, which they eventually seized. Taken by a DJI Phantom FC40 drone, the video was spotted on YouTube (and pulled, since it also contained graphic scenes of execution). It shows images of the base from what looks like a lofty altitude, along with insurgents discussing how to use the info. They later sent in suicide bombers to attack the important northern airfield, but it's unclear if the information from the drone was of much strategic use. However, the footage has further value for the group as propaganda. It formed part of a disturbing video meant to show that the group is high-tech (and extremely violent) which helps it attract and radicalize new recruits.

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