In August I warned that at least some of the “close encounters of the drone kind” experienced at and near US airports recently were probably caused by terrorists. I went on to point out that they had successfully used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) in attacks overseas, and that I expected the same to happen here.
Now comes this testimony to Congress from the FBI.
Wray issued a stark warning about the growing danger of drone and cyber terror. Terrorists want to use drones to drop grenade-sized explosives, toxins, or other harmful substances on Americans, just as they have done abroad. “We’ve seen that overseas already with growing frequency,” he said. “I think the expectation is that it’s coming here imminently.” Drones, he added, were “relatively easy to acquire, relatively easy to operate, and quite difficult to disrupt and monitor.”
Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, agreed. “Two years ago this was not a problem,” he told the committee. “A year ago it was an emerging problem. Now it’s a real problem. So we’re quickly trying to up our game.” He also said that it was unclear which agency was in charge of countering this threat, a confusion that concerned several senators.
There’s more at the link.
Think of this in the light of the Las Vegas shootings earlier this week. What if, instead of rifles fired a long way from the scene, basically spreading unaimed bullets all over the landscape, terrorists used drones to drop grenades or other munitions across the area? It wouldn’t be hard to do, and the attack could be launched from a greater distance, making it much harder to find – let alone stop – the attackers.
Terrorists may be evil, but they’re not stupid, and they can use tools as well as any of us.