In mid-December 2022, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with explosives attached to it was found by a Filipino worker on a stone wall in the middle of the street in the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, in Israel. After he informed the police, the UAV was recovered and the IED, which consisted of a standard No. 10 demolition block (plastic explosive) fitted with a mobile phone-based initiation system, was neutralized. An investigation revealed the UAV was intended for use in a targeted assassination, against the background of a conflict between criminal organizations. Two weeks later, those involved in the assassination attempt were arrested and two additional drones were found in their possession, as well as standard demolition blocks, detonators, and mobile phones.
The use of loitering munitions and armed drones for assassinations by criminal organizations has been known for several years and was initially adopted by criminals from the terrorism realm. However, this phenomenon is not common in developed countries, and the appearance of this TTP in the center of a busy Israeli city like Jaffa is unusual and points to a step up in the world of crime, and also poses a challenge for security forces in the future.
A full report containing photographs and detailed threat analysis of these Weaponized UAV’s and IED’s, is available for Official Use Unly to approved government, defence, and law enforcement bodies.