The USA and Germany, under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), launched the Initiative to Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) Threats on 13 December 2018 in Berlin. The launch event was held alongside the Initiative’s first regional workshop on December 14, which focused on countering the UAS threat in Europe. The GCTF C-UAS Initiative aims to develop a set of non-binding good practices that can assist countries in developing or expanding national action plans to identify, prioritize, and implement policies and measures to counter terrorist use of UAS.
The GCTF works at the forefront of addressing emerging terrorist threats, such as the use of UAS against civilian targets. ISIS and other terrorist groups are using this technology to conduct reconnaissance, drop explosives, and spread propaganda. Rapidly improving technology and easier access increase the possibility of terrorists using UAS against civilian targets. As these attacks are increasing in complexity and frequency, multilateral cooperation is needed to develop a substantive guide for governments to counter terrorist use of UAS.
Participants from national and local governments and international organizations at the launch event and workshop exchanged assessments of the threat, national policies, and legislative responses towards terrorist use of UAS, and established technologies to counter UAS. The GCTF C-UAS Initiative will convene three additional regional workshops throughout 2019 in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. These workshops will inform the development of a good practices document for countering terrorist UAS threats, which will be put forward for endorsement at the GCTF Ministerial in 2019.
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