The regular and massive use of drones by the US inevitably leads to collateral damage: loss of lives, wanton destruction, not to mention diplomatic tension even with traditional partners.
Al-Qaeda instinctively exploits this human drama and the personal trauma of locals who lost family members, killed by a very visible and identified enemy: an unmanned drone. That particular enemy, however, remains highly inaccessible, and is indeed a high profile, arrogant adversary. That’s how the terrorist organization manages to join together the brothers and families of victims killed by US drones, and to direct that particular group of would-be suicide-bombers to fuel its “strategy of terror”.
In Yemen, more so than in Afghanistan, the brothers of victims of US drones keep their “brotherhood” and “solidarity” alive, and they are being encouraged to do so by joining the “military and strategic deterrence force” against the Americans. A kind of special “brigade” of jihadists is being set up. It is promised to a prosperous future if the use of drones in the war against terrorism intensifies, especially in Yemen.
Al-Qaeda will then have to find proper targets for that “special” unit. Will it be any American target or will it be limited to military targets? Al-Qaeda might also seek to engage in more “spectacular” attacks targeting that very same arrogant adversary: Could it be the USAF? or drones operatives? Al-Qaeda might not able to provide the required targets every time it’s necessary to maintain the cohesion of that particular group of militants, but it will certainly try its best. Common targets are for common militants. This particular group of jihadists however, was brought together out of each member’s own, personal dramatic experience and is kept together by a deep sense of hostility towards an uncommon enemy: the drone. This might lead them to seek uncommon targets and they must therefore be closely monitored.