FBI Issues Warning Over Drones, But Congress Isn’t Acting

FBI Issues Warning Over Drones, But Congress Isn't Acting

(ConservativeInsider.org) – As technology advances at what seems a rapidly evolving speed, so do the threats against America’s security. When drones first became popular, people used them for taking aerial photos and videos and simply enjoyed the fun of flying them. However, drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with advanced technology, have become capable of carrying all sorts of payloads. While companies like Amazon hope to use drones to deliver packages quickly, others are figuring out how to attach bombs to the devices, pushing the FBI to issue warnings to Congress.

FBI Director Wray Testifies to US Senate

November 17, 2022, FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke before the Senate Homeland Security committee about various national security threats, including the fact there have been multiple instances of drones carrying bombs or explosive IEDs within America’s borders. While he did not detail each of these events, the public knows of one such incident in 2020 where someone flew a drone to a Pennsylvania power substation with the likely intent to short-circuit the power grid to create a widespread outage.

In this case, the drone hit a nearby roof before making it to its target, and no suspect or operator was ever found. While this was the first publicly acknowledged incident of a drone attempting to attack the US on its own soil, it is likely just the beginning of a new era of domestic battles. In addition, this case was only one of many that have already happened, even if the American public does not know the details of other cases.

What Threat Do These Drones Pose?

Director Wray highlighted that drones carrying homemade explosives pose more than just a threat to the power grid. Americans love to rally around a cause, whether it’s at their favorite football team, a celebration in New York City’s Times Square, or a concert in Washington, DC. Such a large gathering of people could easily be a target for a drone attack. Without updated laws and mitigation techniques, Wray warned attendees at such events could be sitting ducks.

With this in mind, major sports organizations like the NFL, MLB, NCAA, and Nascar wrote to Congress in July 2022 to request they pass updates to the Preventing Emerging Threats Act to ensure the US can counter threats posed by UAVs.

According to the FAA, in 2024, the US will have around 2.3 million drones registered to operate in American airspace, giving rise to more opportunities for bad actors to bring harm. These threats are not only in the form of bombs and power grid attacks but also in smuggling drugs over the US border or within the states.

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