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Tag: drones

Homeland Security Warns of Weaponized Drones in Hands of Terrorists

Drone via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The potential for weaponized drones has never been greater.

Fearing that terrorists could use drones to attack Americans, Homeland Security is urging Congress for more authority to stop  malicious drones.

Intelligence officials are warning that terrorist organizations like ISIS have mastered the use of weaponized drones.

In Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro was almost struck by explosives dropped from drones earlier this year. 

“Any time drones are used for an attack, what appears to have been an assassination attempt, it’s gravely concerning,” DHS’ top intelligence official, David Glawe, told CBS News.

Glawe fears that a weaponized drone could threaten the Super Bowl or White House, for example.

But no law enforcement agency has the authority to jam or shoot down drones, Glawe said.

“I think we want the opportunity to have all tools in the toolbox for our law enforcement officers. To identify good from bad is a key component,” Glawe said.

DHS has asked Congress to give the agency power to “redirect, disable, disrupt control of, seize, or confiscate, without prior consent” a drone that “poses a threat.” But after a Senate committee approved the legislation last summer, the bill stalled over concerns from civil liberties groups.

“It’s a problem because it means that DHS can shoot a drone out of the air or seize it and they can do so without ever having a judge look at their actions and determine if they were right,” said Neema Singh Giuliani, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Glawe said there is no time to debate the issue.

“This threat is upon us today. I wake up in the morning and night just hoping we don’t have an attack,” Glawe said. 

Suspects Thwart FBI Hostage Rescue Operation with a Swarm of Drones

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

FBI agents trying to rescue a hostage last year were thwarted when they spotted a swarm of drones that suspects were using to keep an eye on the raid.

The encounter involved  “high-speed low passes at the agents in the observation post to flush them,” reported Defense One’s Patrick Tucker, citing FBI chief Joe Mazel, head of the bureau’s operational technology law division, who was speaking at a conference this week.

Authorities wouldn’t disclose the location, saying the incident remains “law enforcement-sensitive.” But Defense One indicated the encounter happened “on the outskirts of a large U.S. city.”

The FBI said the suspects likely carried the drones in backpacks and then streamed the video on YouTube for the criminals to monitor.

Ex-Agent: Secret Service Not Trained to Handle Weaponized Drones, 3-D Guns


secret-servic-via-secret-serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. is vulnerable to attacks from weaponized drones, 3-D printed guns and other high-tech weapons because the Secret Service isn’t equipped to cope with the “grave threat,” a former agent told the Washington Examiner

Don Bongino, author of “Protecting the President,” said President Trump is at risk of an attack from the high-tech weapons.

“The threat is grave,” Bongino said.

Bongino explained that the Secret Service is trained primarily to stop ground attacks, but are not equipped to handle weaponized drones. He also said that 3D-printed guns may not be detected my traditional magnetometers.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol to Test New, Smaller Drones at Tucson Sector

Drone via CBP.

Drone via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol hopes to add smaller drones to its surveillance arsenal and will begin testing the unmanned aircraft this month in the Tucson sector, Tucson.com reports

The agency uses bigger drones, but Border Patrol is looking for something that is small enough to easily transport and fly in hard-to-access areas.

Agents will test three series of drones: Puma, Raven and InstantEye Quadcopter.

The drones may also include sensors, infrared cameras and facial-recognition technology. 

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol to Test New Drones in Arizona, Texas And Vermont

drone-1142182_960_720By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol plans to test new drones in Arizona, Texas and Vermont in September as part of an increased effort to curb illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

The different models range from quadcopters that are capable of flying for 30 minutes to larger aerial vehicles that can stay airborne for hours, Arizona Public Media reports

Border Control currently uses large drones that are flown out of an airstrip at Fort Huachuca in Cochise County.

No specifics were given about the time and locations of the tests.

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security Gets Bombarded with Proposals to Build Drones for the Border

drone-1142182_960_720By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security shouldn’t worry about finding sophisticated drones for the border.

The agency received so many bids to provide compact drones that the federal government ended the submission process two months early, NBC News reports

“As this was a pilot program, we were hoping to see a robust response from industry, but did not have a specific target [number of bids] in mind,” said Ari Shuler, director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Commercial Technology Innovation Program. “Our team’s expectations were exceeded as we received more than three dozen proposals.”

These aren’t just any drones. They are designed to identify people from the air using facial recognition technology, and the drones are capable of tracking people for at least 3 miles.

Border Patrol has used drones since 2005, but the technology is nowhere near as sophisticated as it is today.

Smugglers Increasingly Using Drones to Drop Drugs over U.S.-Mexico Border

DroneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Smugglers are increasingly using drones to drop drugs over the U.S-Mexico border.

Border Patrol is using six blimps that can detect low-flying aircraft using specialized radar, CBS News reports.  The drones are monitored by Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS), which can cover the entire boarder.

“Our law enforcement operators that see that on the radar and get the drugs, get the bad guys that are waiting for the drugs,” said Rob Brown the TARS program manager 

To fly below the radar, smugglers often fly dangerously low.

“They’ll hug the mountains really close just to try and break up their profile,” said Brent J. Smart, an Air and Marine Interdiction Agent. 

The TARS technology helps agents find drugs that are dropped from the sky.

Homeland Security Searches for Drones Capable of Facial Recognition

FBI-facial-recognitionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is looking to Silicon Valley for specially designed drones.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that officials met last week with technology entrepreneurs in search of small, light-weight drones that are easy to fly and can cover vast stretches of desert.

The drones also need to be able to provide images good enough to scan faces against a database for prior criminal history.

“There can be questions about how accurate that is and legitimate questions about how someone’s picture got into a database,” said John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project.

Border Patrol currently uses drones, but the technology isn’t up to snuff, officials said.