Criminals used drones to block FBI observers

Criminals used drones to block FBI observers
Criminals apparently used several drones to counter FBI surveillance and conduct their own spying on law enforcement.
Published: 5 May 2018 - 1:01 p.m.
By: Mark Sutton

A gang of criminals used its own fleet of drones to disrupt an FBI hostage siege, a security conference in the US has heard.

The criminals flew drones in high-speed, low-level passes to block agents in an observation point who were trying to survey a hostage situation.

The gang also used the drones to spy on the law enforcement officers, posting the footage to YouTube so that gang members inside the building could view it on their smart phones.

The incident was reported by an FBI official at a drones conference in the US, military website Defense One said.

Joseph Mazel, head of the FBI's Operational Technology Law Unit told the conference that the incident occurred outside of an unnamed large US city in the past winter.

Mazel said that it appeared the criminals had brought the drones to the area ahead of time, with a plan to use them against the FBI team.

When the FBI posted a surveillance team in an "elevated observation post" to be able to view the incident, the criminals ‘buzzed' the officers to flush them out of the observation post. This had the effect of blinding the FBI team on the ground.

Mazel said the same drone fleet was also used to monitor law enforcement teams on the ground and to share the footage with criminals inside the siege. The FBI chief did not disclose the final outcome of the incident.

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