UAS in Urban Attacks- Red Teaming Exercise Report is a study by Kerry Chávez, PhD. The study was sponsored by weTHINK, in partnership with The Center for Advanced Red Teaming at the University of Albany, the University of the West of England Bristol, the University of Piraeus, the United Nations Peacekeepers, INTERPOL, and DroneSec.

This research seeks to deepen our understanding of the potential ways terrorists may utilize commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to devise and carry out attacks, focusing on urban environments. Urban areas are recognized for their susceptibility due to the concentration of critical assets and populations and limited aerial defense infrastructure. As civilian UAS technologies advance, making sophisticated aerial platforms more accessible to malign entities, this report underscores the imperative for appropriately tailored security frameworks to anticipate and prevent nefarious applications while safeguarding legitimate uses.

The study employs red teaming, a simulation technique to explore adversary behaviors, to generate synthetic data about how violent nonstate actors might employ UAS in urban attack scenarios. This simulation exercise was conducted online between November 2022 and January 2023 and yielded a dataset comprising 110 high-quality responses. Participants willingly assumed the roles of terrorists, selecting targets and devising hypothetical attack plans. These participants were randomly assigned terrorist profiles, namely extreme left, extreme right, or jihadist, each providing distinct background narratives. The immersive exercises prompted players to immerse themselves in these characters’ motivations and perspectives. It was observed that profile-based subgroups displayed varying priorities in their attack planning, with extremists emphasizing symbolism and civil disruption, while jihadists prioritized causing casualties and property damage.

Publication Date– 2023

UAS in Urban Attacks- Red Teaming Exercise Report contains the following major sections:

  • About
  • Acknowledgments
  • Executive Summary
  • Motivation
  • Methodology
  • Profiles
  • Target Trends
  • Threat Vectors
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix

This information was published with the permission of the author.

C-UAS Hub does not own this content and provides a link for users at the bottom of the page to access it in its original location, or the document can be directly downloaded from our site. All credit goes to its rightful owner.

Author– Kerry Chávez, PhD

See Also-

Counter-UAS Technology Guide

Preventing and Countering Terrorist Use of UAS

Berlin Memorandum on Good Practices for Countering Terrorist Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems

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