Government Requests New Powers to Address Drone Security Threats
The Trump administration urged Congress this week to give it new powers to disable or destroy threatening drones. According to Reuters, written testimony from David Glawe, undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, and Hayley Chang, DHS deputy general counsel, said that “terrorist groups overseas use drones to conduct attacks on the battlefield and continue to plot to use them in terrorist attacks elsewhere. This is a very serious, looming threat that we are currently underprepared to confront.”
A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation last month to give DHS and the Justice Department authority to “protect buildings and assets when there is an unacceptable security risk to public safety posed by an unmanned aircraft.”
According to Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, the number of drone flights over sensitive areas or suspicious activities has jumped from eight incidents in 2013 to an estimated 1,752 incidents in 2016.
FBI deputy assistant director Scott Brunner told the committee that the agency is “concerned that criminals and terrorists will exploit (drones) in ways that pose a serious threat to the safety of the American people,” citing threats that could include surveillance; chemical, biological or radiological attacks; attacks “on large open air venues” like concerts and sporting events; or attacks against government facilities, Reuters reports.