Proliferation of drone technology and research to uncover the various different factors that influence the decision by non-state groups to employ drones violently.
The proliferation of drone technology across Africa has significantly expanded humanitarian, development, business, and military operations. Drones, also known as unmanned aerial systems, have many positive uses. In the hands of non-state armed groups however, they pose a threat that governments must be prepared for.
A research team led by Dr. Yannick Veilleux-Lepage (Institute of Security and Global Affairs) in collaboration with Emil Archambault has secured funding from the Canadian Department of National Defence’s Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program to study the use of drones by violent non-state actors, particularly organised terrorist groups. The project began on June 1, 2021 and will go on for one year.
As the researchers have demonstrated in their previous work, the proliferation of commercial drones has changed how violent non-state groups operate and has offered them new opportunities both in terms of committing acts of violence and generating propaganda.
Yannick Veilleux-Lepage: ‘Our previous work focused specifically on images and propaganda which featured drones, whereas this project focuses instead on the how and why various terrorist group employ drones as a whole. In this research project we will not only focus on Islamic State, will look at several groups, which will allow us to uncover the various different factors that influence the decision by non-state groups to employ drones violently.’