Terrorists are using consumer drones—and it’s getting harder to stop them

By Erik English | December 6, 2023


Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, was shocking as much for its brutality as its effectiveness. Warfare experts have noted Hamas’s use of commercially available consumer drones as a means to reduce the technological gap that exists vis a vis Israel’s military. Many have noted that Hamas implemented strategies from the ongoing war in Ukraine to make effective use of drone technology, but the situation is more complicated than that.


The Bulletin spoke with Kerry Chávez, an expert on modern warfare at Texas Tech University, to understand how Hamas could use drones to level the playing field against a much stronger adversary. While many of the tactics that Hamas applied have been used in Ukraine’s war with Russia, in Sudan, Myanmar, and beyond, those tactics were initially pioneered by the Islamic State terror group and its highly effective propaganda machine. As drones become cheaper and more popular every day, the threat that this consumer technology can pose is growing. Experts are worried about drones being used not just in war zones, but to attack critical infrastructure and widely attended public events around the world.

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