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UK Foreign Minister Cleverly Highlights Misuse of Drones by Terrorists, Shares Story of Witnessing Houthi Missile Attack

By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

News18.com

Last Updated: October 29, 2022, 11:21 IST

New Delhi

UK foreign secretary James Cleverly addresses the Special Meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in New Delhi (Image: YouTube/MEA)

UK foreign secretary James Cleverly addresses the Special Meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in New Delhi (Image: YouTube/MEA)

Cleverly said that drones, online spaces are being used by terrorists to destabilize regions and finance terror operations

UK foreign secretary James Cleverly on Saturday while addressing the Special Meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in New Delhi warned about how terrorists are using emerging technologies to spread terror.

Cleverly referred to terrorists using online spaces to radicalise vulnerable people across the world. He also said that online spaces are being misused to finance terrorism and there is need to infiltrate those networks.

The UK foreign secretary also pointed to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for terrorist attacks. “From our ambassador’s garden in Abu Dhabi in January of this year, I saw the UAE’s air-defence system intercept Houthi missiles and only a few weeks earlier drones killed three people,” Cleverly said.

He was referring to the time period between January 18 to early-February when Houthi drones triggered a fuel tank blast at a storage facility in Abu Dhabi and the UAE and its coalition forces, which includes Saudi Arabia, retaliated with air strikes.

Cleverly then said drones are used by Russia to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure and target civilians. “From UAE to Ukraine UAVs are used to inflict terror, death and destruction. We have sanctioned an Iranian military commander and one company which supplies drones,” Cleverly said.

Cleverly told the delegates that there is work to be done to stop financiers of terrorism. He said the advancement of the internet has allowed ‘murky rooms’ to pop up online where terrorism financing is concealed. “We have made tackling illicit financiers a core pillar of our cooperation with international partners,” he said. The UK foreign minister said he is looking forward to India hosting the No Money for Terror conference in November.

He, however, also warned: “A repressive response will exacerbate the problem. If we are to keep our people safe, we must comply with human rights, must work together with industry and with all communities to discredit narratives of hate and to counter radicalisation, to infiltrate networks, to foil plots and starve terrorists of finances and of emerging technology.”

Ahead of his address, Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar also pointed out how UAVs are becoming increasingly dangerous at the hands of the terrorists.

“Being a relatively low-cost option, with an increasing ease of accessibility, misuse of these unmanned aerial platforms for this nefarious purposes by terrorist groups such as weapons and explosives delivery and targeted attacks have become an imminent danger,” he said.

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first published:October 29, 2022, 11:21 IST
last updated:October 29, 2022, 11:21 IST
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