(note: this takes place in the same universe as my previous question)

Hello, fellow comrades.

As you know, we have been gaining in strength lately, exploiting instability in Russia (quick author's note: Russia's unstable because they didn't diversify their economy quickly enough, so their economy basically collapsed as oil, coal and natural gas stopped being used) and the elites' unwillingness to provide for the common people to gain large amounts of resources. This October, we will strike back at the elites, to show them that if they ignore the people, their lives will be under threat.

Our target is the COP52 climate conference in Malé, Maldives, this October. Our plan is to release drones nearby carrying bombs (basically, just like the drones in this video) that will fly towards the conference and blow a hole in the side of the convention area, then the rest of our drones will fly through the hole and blow the people inside up, in a sense. These are some of the most important people on the planet, so we expect that there would be large amounts of security to smuggle the drones from within: this is why we are releasing them from outside.

Getting the drones and the materials shouldn't be difficult. We have large amounts of resources from our donors and our control over parts of Russia, and many experts disillusioned with the global elites support our cause. But the issue is how we will get these drones and materials to the Maldives. Our only methods to get it there, as the Maldives are an island nation, are via aircraft or shipping, and there is no way we can buy our own airplane or a ship large enough to reach the Maldives. Anyways, our ship would be inspected by national authorities, and it goes without saying that our drones are highly illegal, so there's that.

Quick notes:

  1. While it would not be optimal, we could deliver the drones and resources to the Maldives and assemble them into terrorist drones on site, though being away from our base in Russia would make it more difficult to assemble the drones with minimal supervision. Acquiring drones and explosives in the Maldives, again, could be possible, but the increased state interference from doing so in a country with a stable government would reduce the number of drones that we would be able to assemble.

  2. We have a large amount of resources from donations and our control over resources in Siberia as mentioned before, so we are willing to tolerate a plan with costs in the millions to tens of millions of dollars, but less expensive methods would be better. Plans that make it harder for any authorities to discover our headquarters are better, for obvious reasons.

  3. We will most likely plan other terrorist attacks against the ecofascist elites in different parts of the world (eg the power cables connecting North African solar panels to Europe, national governments, etc.), so plans that can recycle some of our resources used in this attack would be more preferable as well.

Author's note 2: Remember to keep in mind that this story is set 26 years in the future when thinking about your answer, so technology will not be exactly the same as it is today (eg 3d printing will be more effective, but machines designed to find suspicious materials will also be more effective). Also, there have been past terror attacks using drones (but none on this level!), so the governments of the world will have some countermeasures to prevent drone attacks: in my story, the Maldivian military will cut this attack short by deploying drones of their own, for example.

  • $\begingroup$ A sympathist admiral in the Russian navy lets you guys use a SSB submarine. Even just one of the launchers has sufficient capacity for your purpose, and it could be emptied for warhead rehabilitation and never replaced with the right paperwork shuffle (though I'm unclear if they only pull the warhead for that, or the whole missile). $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Dec 3, 2021 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ It looks like you're asking questions about an already built fictional world rather than asking for help building a fictional world. Such questions are off topic off this site. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Dec 3, 2021 at 17:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Does Amazon do drone deliveries in your world yet? $\endgroup$
    – Caius Jard
    Dec 3, 2021 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings Would you mind quoting a specific rule that would support your statement? I seem to be unable to find one. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Dec 3, 2021 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Otkin "When asking questions keep in mind that the goal of the site is to help you build your world, not to tell your story." From the help center worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic. Also from the same page "If on the other hand you aren’t sure what a character (be it an individual or organization) should do, that is out of scope for the site, " $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Dec 3, 2021 at 21:19

7 Answers 7


You could get a yacht, park it in international waters, assemble the drones on it and release them during the dark subtropical night. These being rogue drones, they lack any required flashlights or radio beacons so it's realistic to imagine they never get noticed.

Then they can proceed to their targets, blowing them up; or they can fly to some roost where they will fly away from when the time comes: you can use some inaccessible hill with your allies present onsite - who otherwise don't keep any equipment so they can't be implicated in advance.

Local authorities would very much like to inspect your vessel, if not for the fact that it never docks.

It's much harder to rationalize why natural gas stopped being used, given late 2021 events.


Huge drone show

This is a frame challenge, as the drones are supposed to be illegal and not able to be released inside.

Embed yourself into a drone show. These shows are more and more done instead of fireworks displays, though I can imagine that with cheap enough drone technology you can sacrifice a few to incorporate fireworks into the drone show.

This means two things. You can ship the drones legally to the conference and you can ship explosives masked as/shipped with fireworks to the conference. Only a few experts that get access can tell the difference, as normal dogs and such would be unable to tell the difference. That means you only need to control the team and a few experts to get through. With enough drones and a time crunch an expert is also likely to check more if protocols are adhered than actual contents, allowing you to get through without inspection of the contents. Even better. Lots of fireworks shouldn't be opened anyway.

This means you have everything in one place. Drones that are supposed to have coordination and advanced software as well as explosives strapped to them, legally and allowed to get into a lot of places. Some will be just as innocent as they appear, with a few lights for a display. You can even give them a show inside the building in the big conference room! Either there or at the show in the evening you toggle a switch and mayhem is assured. The innocent drones can even be in assistance for reconnaissance and detecting (high value) targets. During a show you can even have some symbology with a drone with a light per person to light their way, hover just above them and thus have as many targets at once before you flip the switch.


A ship in international waters.

The drones from your clip are rather tiny, and might not have enough range even two decades from now, but they could be carried by a slightly larger drone, which releases them a few miles from the target. This drone is launched from a ship.

  • At first I thought of a fishing trawler, because Soviet Fishing Trawler is just too good to pass, but first, we're talking professionals and not Evil Overlords, and second, two decades from now fishing craft might be tracked very carefully.
  • Then I thought about disguising the drone launchers as drug smugglers. Depending on the political climate in twenty years, it might be possible to bribe the authorities if they think it is only about drugs.
  • Or a plain rusty freighter, traveling from A to B ...
  • $\begingroup$ Except the details, how is this answer different from alamar his or her answer? $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Dec 4, 2021 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Trioxidane, I'm suggesting three different ship types, each with a different rationale than a yacht just loitering because I wants to. Your call if a freighter is more or less suspicious than a yacht. $\endgroup$
    – o.m.
    Dec 4, 2021 at 9:36

Shell Company and Smuggling

There are essentially three tasks:

  1. Create an armada of explosive UAVs
  2. Get that armada of eUAVs to the Maldives from Russia, past the local security apparatus which is not-insubstantial due to the importance of the target.
  3. Set up and Deploy the drones without arousing suspicion.

Drones are not, per-say, illegal to transport to the Maldives. Explosives are the main problem.

Conveniently, a drone capable of carrying say.. a couple pounds of explosive, could also be used for a variety of other purposes.

So what your conspiracy needs to do is set up a shell-company which markets itself as operating/producing drones for courier work (Amazon does this already in some cities, it's not a big deal for another company to start up doing it in 26 years when the tech is even better) They might also advertise side-lines in camera work, construction or whatever else.

This then gives the company a suspicion-free reason to import hundreds or thousands of commercial-tier drones to the Maldives, as well as reasons to have all the support gear for a fleet of drones. Even a launching station on the roof.
And if you need to test-fly some of the drones to make sure they've got everything right, nobody is going to bat an eye at a drone-delivery company flying drones..

The second part is to get the explosives there separately and attach them to the drones. This is essentially a smuggling operation, and probably substantially easier than the drones. I would go with packing the bombs into water-tight containers and sinking them off the coast where your local agents in a fishing/diving boat can retrieve them.

You can do this piecemeal for weeks if need-be.

Once you have everything in place, spend a long weekend clamping bombs onto drones and you're good to go.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This has … quite a bit of promise, actually. I'm thinking if they are willing to use the shell company to move drones to the Maldives, there's no reason why they couldn't use the same shell company to move drones into other areas to do drone attacks in more areas. My story is going to focus on the investigation by governments after the first attack, so the company could be a good starting point. $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2021 at 10:48
  • $\begingroup$ You do run the risk of your drone delivery company getting too profitable, and your shell company executives refusing to run bomb deliveries. :D $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Dec 3, 2021 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ In the words of The Joker: "It's not about the money, it's about sending a message" $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Dec 6, 2021 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Ruadhan … you say that but that’s basically the entire reason the terrorists are doing this. $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2021 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ Flipside, I can well imagine that in a quarter-century Drone-Delivery will be either so commonplace that it's hard to be competitive as a new startup business, or so 20s' that it's considered a laughable throwback rather than a realistic business-model. It may well be exactly the kind of business where everyone can tell from get-go that it's a stupid idea with little shelf-life, but it'll last long enough to get the attack done, which is all that matters. $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Dec 6, 2021 at 14:32

You don't need to even fly the drones over

Assuming the conference is outside or within a standard building (as in, not made of an indestructible material with force fields), you just need to get the drones close. The airspace would likely be obstructed, so no dropping the drones from an airplane. However, the representatives need a way to get there, so you could build a plane or boat, loaded with the drones, and mix in with the crowd.
Alternatively, an underwater attack could be preferred. Considering this is 26 years into the future, a submarine could be the chosen course of action. Get a stealth sub, drive it up near the islands, and let loose the drones, having them stay underwater until they reach the island, where they can surface.

Considering the fact that they will likely have defences, you could attempt to diversify the drones, having some designed specifically to defend.

Alternatively, take control of the security itself. Should the conference hire independent contractors to protect the island(the other option is government funded), then you could create a company and be hired to defend the conference. Once there, you'd have full clearance to bring in weapon-armed drones, and anything else you'd need. Then, when the conference starts, you can pull of your plan.


Let's compost some greens...

To celebrate COP 52, your organization builds a huge PR campaign around a revolutionary wind powered boat that will solve the world's most pressing problem: lack of greenwashing *cough * I mean sea shipping, of course. Feel free to add bells and whistles, put Treta Grunthberg on board, etc. Obviously, the boat has plenty of stuff celebs like *cough * I mean shipping-related equipment like jaccuzis, hot swimming pool, etc.

The revolutionary new battery tech does trigger explosive detectors, but everything is of course perfectly safe. The torpedo launcher tubes are strictly for oceanography probes. Make sure you have a diverse and photogenic team onboard.

So your shiny boat parks in front of the COP for a huge photo-op, all the elites come on board to show off. In fact, if you play it well with ESG social credit, they will also finance the operation, so it won't cost a dime.

During this event, there is a huge drone show (stolen from Trioxidane's answer). The boat blows up, killing everyone onboard, and the drones finish off the rest.

Bonus: if natural gas has fallen out of fashion, Iran will be ruined, so you get a bargain price on an Iranian nuke. It is towed by the boat, about 100m underwater, so seawater acts as a radiation shield to prevent detection.


You put your drones in waterproof containers and drag them underwater beneath your vessel--even an inspection at sea won't reveal them. It's just a rented yacht. You time your arrival for when you want to launch, including convenient engine trouble some distance offshore (in which you actually bring the drones up and prepare them for launch.) The yacht is actually coming in on autopilot, you slipped away after preparing the drones. The first drones are targeted on the defense sites and once they can't use terrain for cover anymore they as quickly as possible put themselves on ballistic trajectories aimed at those defense sites. A mission kill on the drone makes it fall out of the sky--right where you want it to go anyway. To actually stop one you either need to take out the warhead, it's detonator or it's guidance while leaving a substantial amount of aerodynamic surface left. (Think about the Patriot vs Scud engagements in Desert Storm. The Patriots would spray shrapnel into the Scud, a complete mission kill--except the booster was already dead anyway. Beating up the corpse of the rocket did nothing to the warhead which continued to come down and go boom.)

You also make your approach over the most inhabited terrain possible--which will severely restrict the defensive fire that can be directed at the drones because what goes up must come down. Rounds which will explode in the sky aren't a big deal, but bullets would fall into the city and thus there won't be any heavy machine guns in the first place.


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