ISIS will likely continue refining its UAV capabilities and touting successes as proofs of concept for future operations. Since February, ISIS claims it has conducted approximately 80 UAV attacks in Iraq and Syria, killing approximately 40 and injuring 100. The UAVs are primarily quadcopters, which can be easily purchased online and customized to drop small explosive munitions.
State lawmakers in New Jersey advanced a package of bills on December 14 to restrict the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, in reaction to incidents receiving national attention, including around Newark International Airport. This first round of legislation focuses on restricting drone flights over critical infrastructure, notifying customers of Federal Aviation Administration regulations, and implementing "geo-fencing" technology that prevents UAS from flying over certain areas and criminalizes violations.
Terrorist groups and individuals face major hurdles in arming and deploying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for attacks against public and private institutions in the United States. Although we cannot rule out the possibility that terrorists could seek to use UAVs in the future, most groups lack the technical know-how to mount and effectively utilize IEDs and firearms on a UAV, and these groups and individuals also face rapidly evolving UAV counter-technology.