How to respond to the threat from hostile drones in the UK

  • Author: Chris Abbott and Matthew Clarke
  • Published: 14 March 2016

Islamic State has used aerial drones for reconnaissance and battlefield intelligence in Iraq and Syria and has attempted to use aerial and ground drones with explosive payloads to attack Kurdish troops. Should we therefore be concerned about the possibility of Islamic State or another terrorist group using drones to attack Western cities? If so, what should we do to address the threat? Read more

Hostile drones: Supplementary risk assessment

  • Author: Chris Abbott, Matthew Clarke, Steve Hathorn and Scott Hickie
  • Published: 12 January 2016

This briefing is provided as a supplement to the Open Briefing/Remote Control Project report Hostile drones: The hostile use of drones by non-state actors against civilian targets. Our findings are based on a risk assessment involving 270 individual likelihood/impact judgements taking into account the type of threat group, the type of unmanned vehicle, the theatre, the nature of the threat and the target. Read more

Hostile drones: The hostile use of drones by non-state actors against British targets

  • Author: Chris Abbott, Matthew Clarke, Steve Hathorn and Scott Hickie
  • Published: 11 January 2016

In this groundbreaking report for the Remote Control project, Open Briefing has analysed over 200 commercially-available drones and assessed known drone use by non-state groups, including terrorist organisations, insurgent groups, organised crime groups, corporations and activists. The report sets out a series of recommendations to mitigate the threat from the hostile use of drones, including specific regulatory, passive and active countermeasures. Read more

Blowback: The failure of remote-control warfare

  • Author: Chris Abbott
  • Published: 4 February 2015

It all seemed so convenient: remote-control warfare would minimise military casualties while rendering the civilian dead invisible. But in this article co-published with openDemocracy, Open Briefing’s executive director, Chris Abbott, explains how the battlefield has come home and remote-control warfare is failing. Read more

Terrorist use of drones presents major potential threat to key sites and personnel in West

  • Source: Blog
  • Filed: 30 January 2015

The recent crash-landing of a small drone in the White House grounds has highlighted the risk posed by terrorists operating unmanned aerial vehicles fitted with remotely-control explosive devices. Such platforms could be used to target nuclear power plants, government or military infrastructure, tourist sites and high-value targets, such as politicians. Read more

Education and violent extremism in Nigeria

  • Author: Gustavo Plácido dos Santos
  • Published: 30 October 2013
  • 2 responses

In this article co-published with openDemocracy, Gustavo Plácido dos Santos asks whether in a context of poor school attendance among Muslims in northern Nigeria is the almajiri system favoured by Boko Haram compatible with a peacebuilding project for the country? Read more

The weekly briefing, 21 October 2013

  • Source: Open Briefing
  • Filed: 21 October 2013

Political and security risk updates from the Open Briefing intelligence desks. Includes Al-Shabaab’s video threat against British Muslim leaders and the string of bombings that threatens Burma’s reformist efforts. Read more

Risk updates, 19 August 2013: Ecuador, Lebanon, Egypt…

  • Source: AKE
  • Filed: 20 August 2013

Risk updates and forecasts. Includes the risk of protests in Ecuador against the controversial decision to begin granting licences for oil drilling in a pristine area of Amazon rainforest national park and the deaths of 24 Egyptian policemen in an ambush by militants in the North Sinai governorate. Read more


All the publications on our website are made available to you
free of charge. However, if this briefing has been useful, please consider making a £2/$2/€2 donation towards our work to promote informed debate and protect human rights.

Many thanks!
Donate now

Donate now!