[Ed. – The wonder is not that this is happening, but that we’re only now hearing about it. This is the kid of problem for the safety of daily life that we don’t need to IMPORT more of with lax border enforcement or immigration policies.]
Last winter, on the outskirts of a large U.S.city, an FBI Hostage Rescue Team set up an elevated observation post to assess an unfolding situation. Soon they heard the buzz of small drones — and then the tiny aircraft were all around them, swooping past in a series of “high-speed low passes at the agents in the observation post to flush them,” the head of the agency’s operational technology law unit told attendees of the AUVSIXponential conference here. Result: “We were then blind,” said Joe Mazel, meaning the group lost situational awareness of the target. “It definitely presented some challenges.”
The incident remains “law enforcement-sensitive,” Mazel said Wednesday, declining to say just where or when it took place. But it shows how criminal groups are using small drones for increasingly elaborate crimes.