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ISIS drone capability?

ISIS drone capability?

The opening 35 Sec of the latest ISIS video featuring the hostage John Cantlie in a TV documentary type video on the Islamic State has imagery from a high quality camera flying over what is reported as Kobane in a sophisticated drone.

Just before the drone footage switches to John on the ground a graphic suggests where he is. However, analysis of the imagery and the background when John first comes into shot says that these are different areas calling into question the authenticity of this drone footage.

This is not the first time ISIS supposed use of drones has been reported. CNN’s report “Now ISIS has drones?” by Peter Bergen and Emily Schneider on 25 Aug 2014 reported the potential use in an ISIS attack on the Syrian Army Military Base 93 near Raqqa province in northern Syria on 7th August. In this attack the ISIS video showed footage of deploying suicide bombers driving truck bombs. The caption over the surveillance footage of the Syrian military base reads: “From the drone of the army of the Islamic State.”

The use of drone footage in propaganda videos is clearly aimed at emphasizing the all round sophisticated military capability of ISIS forces with the message designed to embolden their fighters and supporters and at the same time to worry opponents. It would be worrying if ISIS did have drone capability with the freedom of airspace to use them in this way.

Report produced in conjunction with:

Global Risk








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