1 Drone Assassination Attempt Against Iraqi Prime Minister, 2 Key Lessons

November 18, 2021 | Meryl Dzikansky

After blogging about the attempted drone attack on electrical infrastructure in Pennsylvania, I want to turn my attention to another major incident that has the media buzzing (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Aside from the shock value, there are two valuable lessons for organizations considering counter-drone solutions.

CNN reported that earlier this week, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt after a drone carrying explosive materials detonated outside his residence in Baghdad, the country’s military said.

Seven of Kadhimi’s security personnel were injured, said Ministry of Interior Spokesman General Saad Maan, speaking to Al-Sharqiya TV.

Lesson 1: Expect more such attacks, unfortunately.

In the aftermath of the attack, David Hambling, aerospace and defense contributor to Forbes, spoke with Zak Kallenborn from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism in Maryland.

“The attempted assassination is quite expected, in that drones are a rapidly growing tool of terrorism,” said Kallenborn.

“Kallenborn notes that drones are favored because they can easily bypass the concrete walls and fences that surround high-value targets such as the Green Zone, allowing terrorists to strike places that are otherwise inaccessible,” according to Hambling.

D-Fend Solutions constantly updates our drone incident tracker, so that you can stay up to date with drone disruptions and incidents around the world.

Lesson 2: Governments and organizations should focus on countering the most dangerous drones.

The CNN article contained an interesting tidbit:

Spokesman Maan explained that “only two armed drones were involved in the assassination attempt and that they had been launched from around 12km northeast of Baghdad.”

Unsurprisingly, Kadhimi was attacked by drones that can fly long distances (at least 12 kilometers in this case) and carry a relatively heavy payload.

Not all drones pose an equal actual threat. It is not productive to disproportionally invest in detecting and mitigating smaller, toy-type drones that cannot travel long distances, carry heavy payloads or even travel outside of their Wi-Fi range.

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