Counterterrorism: Experts Examine Drone Threats to Aviation Security

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The National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), on Tuesday, convened a workshop to explore the threats posed by drones and terrorists to aviation security.

The workshop was organised in collaboration with the UK government through the Department for Transport.

The NCTC national coordinator, Yaminu Musa, said the workshop was to build the operational and technical capacities of aviation stakeholders to prevent and respond to terrorist acts against air transportation effectively.

Mr Musa explained that this was important, as the risk perception of any country is often associated with the safety of the country’s aviation and maritime.

The NCTC also stated that the impact of terrorism on internal travel has profound negative impacts on human, social and economic development.

“For instance, the impact of terrorism on the travel and tourism industry can lead to unemployment, homelessness, deflation, and many other social and economic ills,” noted Mr Musa. “Experiences have shown that transportation networks are particularly vulnerable as terrorist and violent extremist organizations have targeted planes, shipping and other means of transport.”

The NCTC chief added, “Terrorists and their affiliates have also weaponised transportation networks and means to commit acts of terrorism. Hence, sensitising and building the operational and technical capacities of aviation stakeholders through targeted engagements such as this workshop are imperative to effectively prevent and respond to terrorist acts against air transportation.”

Mr Musa said no single agency or country can achieve meaningful success in the fight against terrorism alone, emphasising that the fight against terrorism requires inter-agency collaboration and cross-border relationships “as terrorism recognises no borders.”

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have evolved from being reconnaissance tools to being used as contemporary weapons, according to the NCTC coordinator, pointing out that drones have changed how wars, especially low-intensity conflicts, are waged.

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