UK Police Note Potential for 3D Printing Uses in Terrorist Activity

Share this Article

While 3D printers create amazing products for the good of humanity–assisting in surgeries via modeling, tissue reconstruction via bioprinting, and manufacture of prosthetic limbs, to name just a few ways–the weapons capabilities of the disruptive production technique present a growing dark side. We’ve seen 3D printed guns increase their presence on the media’s radar, and while these tend to be created by hobbyists and guns rights activists, there are those who would create other weapons for more horrific purposes.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve had to consider how terrorists might employ 3D printing technology for their ends. Implications for the creation of powerful, functional weapons by those who wish ill on others are far-reaching, and in the UK, the intelligence community is taking into account what the rising level of the terror threat in the country might mean when aided by this advanced technology.

metropolitan policec assistant commissioner Mark Rowley credit Reuters

UK Metropolitan Police Head of Special Operations and Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley (photo credit: Reuters)

Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Head of Special Operations and Assistant Commissioner, has taken serious note of the level of terrorist threat in his country, noting that the current threat is “fundamentally” different from what has been seen in the past. He has now warned that terrorists might utilize 3D printing technology to create airborne drones or to build bombs.

“We are wrestling with the new technologies constantly,” Mr Rowley said in London at the Counter Terror Expo today, April 21. “We’re wrestling with the issue of drones, we’re wrestling with the issue of 3D printing and we’re wrestling with the issue of new communication technologies and methodologies, new applications and the challenges that presents to us from an intelligence perspective.”

met-polThe UK’s Metropolitan Police have been aware for several years now of the potential for destruction posed by 3D printers in the wrong hands. In 2013, for example, they reported an attempt at weapons manufacture and seized 3D printed parts that might have been used to make guns. Gun ownership in the UK is tightly regulated, thus making the home creation of a firearm illegal.

Drones, however, represent another high-tech threat on the radar. 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a popular and well-documented DIY project that many hobbyists are familiar with. Outside of these hobbyists, the word “drone” for most people can summon images of terrorist activity and warfare, where these airborne machines are often employed. Rowley has voiced his concerns regarding their potential use for close-to-home threats, particularly as they are easy to create. Combined with explosives, results could be lethal–and extremely difficult to detect ahead of time.

Highly publicized cases of UK citizens who have teamed up with ISIS (ISIL), Jihadi John and Jihadi Jane, have increased the visibility of the threat of homegrown terrorists who may be swayed by jihadist and other extremist, violent groups.Counter-Terror-Expo-logo-220

“If we have terrorist groups now able, from relatively safe environments in ungoverned space of broken areas of the country, able to reach from there into communities in the UK and influence people to act in their name to commit terrorist acts, that is a fundamental difference in the challenge the UK is facing,” Rowley cautioned at the Counter Terror Expo.

Speaking on the face of terrorism the world over, Rowley noted that “the nature of terrorism has changed so much, so quickly.”

Do you agree with Rowley? Let us know your thoughts on the controversy surrounding potential uses of disruptive technology in the UK Counter Terror forum thread at 3DPB.com.

ter

[Source: Telegraph]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

MX3D Uses Robot Arm to Make 3D Printed Robot Arm, Installs It on Robot

3DTrust Releases Intelligent Powder Management Solution for Quality Control



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Using Ultrasonic Waves to Analyze Residual Stress in 3D Printed Metal Parts

Researchers from the Czech Republic and Brazil have come together to highlight ultrasonic testing for stress analysis in ‘Residual stress analysis of additive manufacturing of metallic parts using ultrasonic waves:...

Velo3D Secures Further $12M in Funding for Metal 3D Printing

After already securing $28 million in a series-D round of investment just this April, Velo3D has announced an additional $12 million in funding for the series. This brings the total...

3D Systems Streamlines Software for Reverse Engineering

3D Systems has announced the latest versions of its Geomagic Design X and Geomagic Wrap  software, this time claiming “first-to-market capabilities” for streamlining workflows and improving design precision. New features...

3D Printing News Briefs: May 12, 2020 Nanofabrica, Voxeljet, Elementum, AMPOWER

We’re all business today in 3D Printing News Briefs – Nanofabrica has raised $4 million in funding, and voxeljet is expanding its presence in India. Elementum 3D has achieved an...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.