On terrorist plots

A man has been arrested in Germany over an alleged far-Right plot to use explosives mounted on a model plane against his political opponents.

Not sure why anyone would use a model plane.

In June, German authorities staged raids after uncovering an alleged Islamist plot to carry out bomb attacks against state targets using model aeroplanes.

Those little quadricopter things seem to do all that is necessary. And they’re already set up so you can drive them off your mobile phone.

Weirdly, this is something I’ve been thinking about. No, not because I have a target in mind. Just that with my work over at Forbes I’m obviously keeping an eye on technological advances. And it does appear to me that computing leading to these mini-drones is rather changing the things that can be done. Entirely a piece of piss to get drugs into a prison yard for example. Or over a border….

11 thoughts on “On terrorist plots”

  1. Model plains can;t carry much weight so you would have to very accurate and the target would have to be in the open.
    I’m sure nutjobs would try, but the chance of success would be low.

  2. There’s a French newspaper that’s planning to do deliveries by drone soon. They think it’ll be the saving of print journalism.

  3. not just by phone. The Parrot AR Drones have an API, so you could hook up a small computer (like an Arduino) and let it execute pre-programmed instructions.

    There’s a bunch of hackers on a project called Nodecopter, if you want to know more.

  4. “Model plains can;t carry much weight…”
    That does depend on how large you build your model plane, of course. There’s a great clip on UTube of a guy built & flew a jet powered replica of a Russian fighter if you were tempted by your own DIY cruise capability.
    And a couple of RaspberryPi’s @ £25 ea would give onboard computing for autopilot & GPS systems for an expendable drug runner. The software is open source & there for download. Whole avionics package could be done for under £200.
    I have given no thought to the matter at all, of course.

  5. @TimothyA, no doubt the terrrurrusts will get around that by using spray-on explosives or some other fantastical device that we should be trembling in our beds about.

  6. There was some very interesting ‘citizen journalist’ footage of the Cairo kerfuffles shot from a minicopter.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    TimothyA – “Model plains can;t carry much weight so you would have to very accurate and the target would have to be in the open. I’m sure nutjobs would try, but the chance of success would be low.”

    The amount of weight a model plane can carry is just like any other plane – a question of grunt. You stick a large enough engine behind a concrete block and it will fly. Carrying whatever you want.

    The point of putting a camera in the nose is that it would be very accurate indeed. But yes, the target would probably have to be in the open. Although if the RIRA knew that Cameron was going to be holding a Cabinet meeting in a special room in Number Ten at a specific time, I am sure they could deal with the hardened windows.

    The threat of the American Switchblade system is that it would be mass produced and available more or less off the shelf. When the Third World gets a copy, they will presumably copy it and sell it on ebay. Anyone could do in their neighbour if they wanted.

    bloke in spain – “And a couple of RaspberryPi’s @ £25 ea would give onboard computing for autopilot & GPS systems for an expendable drug runner. The software is open source & there for download. Whole avionics package could be done for under £200.”

    There was a New Zealand guy who wanted to build a cheap Cruise missile. He wanted to do it for under $NZ5,000. The Special Branch came around and persuaded him to drop it. I believe he was well down the path of doing so. I think his missile would have carried 10 kilos and used a V1-style pulse jet. But any competent engineer can build a proper jet engine using an old supercharger – and there are plenty of people on the internet who will give you step by step advice.

  8. ” I am sure they could deal with the hardened windows….”
    Perfectly easy to build a 2kg shaped charge with kitchen sink explosives. That’d penetrate 2-3 inches of armour so punching through 12 inches of elderly Georgian brickwork shouldn’t present a problem.
    This is state of the art stuff from the 40’s. How the bazooka worked. Not even slightly “leading edge”.

  9. Incidentally, anyone having problems coming to terms with what’s possible in ultra-lightweight fabrication should get themselves a carbon fibre repair kit to play with. And, of course be acquainted with CAD. Machining up a set of molds, just requires access to a CNC set-up, the design data & a hefty sheet of MDF. No particular skills required at all. Few hundred quid of billable machine time at your nearest industrial estate.

  10. The left will be along any minute complaining about how all the drug mules have been made redundant by the evil capitalists.

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