Criminals used swarm of drones to disrupt FBI hostage raid

midian182

Posts: 6,095   +50
Staff member

We’ve already seen drones used for criminal purposes, such as surveying a potential robbery location and delivering drugs into prisons, but the FBI has just revealed how they were used to disrupt a hostage raid last winter.

Defense One reports that Joe Mazel, the head of the FBI’s Operational Technology Law unit, recounted the incident at the AUVSI Xponential conference in Denver, Colorado.

Mazel told attendees that an FBI hostage rescue team had taken up an elevated position to assess a situation outside of an undisclosed major US city. But it wasn’t long before they heard the sound of an approaching fleet of drones, which made a series of “high-speed low passes at the agents in the observation post to flush them.”

“We were then blind,” said Mazel, meaning the agents lost situational awareness of the target. “It definitely presented some challenges,” he added.

While the case is classed as being law-enforcement sensitive, Mazel was able to provide a few details. The suspects, anticipating law enforcement’s arrival, had brought drones to the scene in backpacks. Not only were they able to obstruct the agents by buzzing them, but the drones also sent video footage back to other gang members via YouTube.

“They had people fly their own drones up and put the footage to YouTube so that the guys who had cellular access could go to the YouTube site and pull down the video,” explained Mazel.

As increasingly cheaper and more portable models become available, the use of drones among gangs to surveil police departments and identify witnesses is increasing. They’re becoming a vital tool for criminals, who use them for everything from smuggling, to burglaries, to monitoring authorities’ movements. They’ve even been weaponized with guns and explosives, something that the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill wants to make illegal. It also requires drone pilots operating the devices outside of their line of sight to remotely identify themselves to law enforcement.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,510   +6,007
Another law isn't going to stop criminals from using drones, but you would think that the FBI would have the ability to jam the drones and turn off their controls & video feeds ..... maybe Jeff Sessions needs to put in a request!
 
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RevD14

Posts: 92   +96
Another law isn't going to stop criminals from using drones, but you would think that the FBI would have the ability to jam the drones and turn off their controls & video feeds ..... maybe Jeff Sessions needs to put in a request!
Correct, it won't. If it's not illegal you can't punish the action or intent to a higher degree.
 

Arionic

Posts: 26   +15
Why wasn't the fbi using drones also this should of been anticipated a long time ago.

I have a racing drone and a drone for videography. The tech is definitely out there to create a pre-programmed swarm of drones of any size. My race drone can fly at over 90mph and outmaneuver damn near anything else that size aside from another drone.

I've been waiting for the day that someone attaches some timed explosives to a squadron of 20 of these things and targets an elected official or even a government building. Precise timing and gps coordinates could do some serious damage and be a hard attack to defend from. Not to mention multiple attacks could take place nationwide. There was an article about Russia doing this and flying a single grenade into a weapons depot in Crimea. ( I think) One drone and one explosive took out millions of dollars of weapons and ammunition.

The future of these things is going to be interesting.
 
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JamesSWD

Posts: 331   +184
Why wasn't the fbi using drones also this should of been anticipated a long time ago.

I have a racing drone and a drone for videography. The tech is definitely out there to create a pre-programmed swarm of drones of any size. My race drone can fly at over 90mph and outmaneuver damn near anything else that size aside from another drone.

I've been waiting for the day that someone attaches some time explosives to a squadron of 20 of these things and targets an elected official, an even or even a government building. Precise timing and gps coordinates could do some serious damage and be a hard attack to defend from. Not to mention multiple attacks could take place nationwide. There was an article about Russia doing this and flying a single grenade into a weapons depot in Crimea. ( I think) One drone and one explosive took out millions of dollars of weapons and ammunition.

The future of these things is going to be interesting.
An even hairier scenario: A drone swarm armed with high explosives descending on dense crowds, like an NFL game. People would just think they're camera drones for the game and ignore them...until BOOM! And that's just an obvious scenario. One drone or a swarm can be used almost anywhere, in ways we haven't even thought of or seen yet, to cause mass injuries, casualties, and disruptions. Before 9/11, we never fathomed or seriously considered some terrorists hijacking jets with utility blades and slamming them into buildings.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,416   +3,487
If the FBI wants to stop them, they should look into something like this - https://www.amazing1.com/emp.html

Whether there are specific regulations against arming them is of little consequence when interfering with law enforcement is already a crime. Taking these drones down would be totally justifiable, IMO.
 
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treetops

Posts: 3,050   +776
Why wasn't the fbi using drones also this should of been anticipated a long time ago.

I have a racing drone and a drone for videography. The tech is definitely out there to create a pre-programmed swarm of drones of any size. My race drone can fly at over 90mph and outmaneuver damn near anything else that size aside from another drone.

I've been waiting for the day that someone attaches some time explosives to a squadron of 20 of these things and targets an elected official, an even or even a government building. Precise timing and gps coordinates could do some serious damage and be a hard attack to defend from. Not to mention multiple attacks could take place nationwide. There was an article about Russia doing this and flying a single grenade into a weapons depot in Crimea. ( I think) One drone and one explosive took out millions of dollars of weapons and ammunition.

The future of these things is going to be interesting.
An even hairier scenario: A drone swarm armed with high explosives descending on dense crowds, like an NFL game. People would just think they're camera drones for the game and ignore them...until BOOM! And that's just an obvious scenario. One drone or a swarm can be used almost anywhere, in ways we haven't even thought of or seen yet, to cause mass injuries, casualties, and disruptions. Before 9/11, we never fathomed or seriously considered some terrorists hijacking jets with utility blades and slamming them into buildings.
Idk I think it would just be easier to leave a bag on a crowded street with like a few minutes timer.
 
S

senketsu

I am still waiting for the YouTube upload of skeet shooters vs drones.
 

MaikuTech

Posts: 1,120   +189
Another law isn't going to stop criminals from using drones, but you would think that the FBI would have the ability to jam the drones and turn off their controls & video feeds ..... maybe Jeff Sessions needs to put in a request!
Unknown drones needs to be shot down, like the article says some drones are weaponized, you don't know what might happen.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 670   +517
Why wasn't the fbi using drones also this should of been anticipated a long time ago.

I have a racing drone and a drone for videography. The tech is definitely out there to create a pre-programmed swarm of drones of any size. My race drone can fly at over 90mph and outmaneuver damn near anything else that size aside from another drone.

I've been waiting for the day that someone attaches some time explosives to a squadron of 20 of these things and targets an elected official, an even or even a government building. Precise timing and gps coordinates could do some serious damage and be a hard attack to defend from. Not to mention multiple attacks could take place nationwide. There was an article about Russia doing this and flying a single grenade into a weapons depot in Crimea. ( I think) One drone and one explosive took out millions of dollars of weapons and ammunition.

The future of these things is going to be interesting.
Damn now you got me paranoid. Makes perfect sense and how would the president or other important official be protected by a large amount of these? Shotguns?
 
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MannerMauler

Posts: 213   +55
Another law isn't going to stop criminals from using drones, but you would think that the FBI would have the ability to jam the drones and turn off their controls & video feeds ..... maybe Jeff Sessions needs to put in a request!
Unknown drones needs to be shot down, like the article says some drones are weaponized, you don't know what might happen.
So, see any unknown drone and shoot it down? That won't go down well with the law-abiding drone community when their drone is shot down while helping a water co. survey damage or when they're having fun just filming just because someone doesn't like the look of the drone. I'm all for the 2nd amendment, but this is just plain retarded and dangerous
 

MannerMauler

Posts: 213   +55
Why wasn't the fbi using drones also this should of been anticipated a long time ago.

I have a racing drone and a drone for videography. The tech is definitely out there to create a pre-programmed swarm of drones of any size. My race drone can fly at over 90mph and outmaneuver damn near anything else that size aside from another drone.

I've been waiting for the day that someone attaches some time explosives to a squadron of 20 of these things and targets an elected official, an even or even a government building. Precise timing and gps coordinates could do some serious damage and be a hard attack to defend from. Not to mention multiple attacks could take place nationwide. There was an article about Russia doing this and flying a single grenade into a weapons depot in Crimea. ( I think) One drone and one explosive took out millions of dollars of weapons and ammunition.

The future of these things is going to be interesting.
Damn now you got me paranoid. Makes perfect sense and how would the president or other important official be protected by a large amount of these? Shotguns?
EMP jammers (which they already use to block remotely detonated bombs when in a motorcade, look for the black suburban with a bunch of Atenas and such popping out) and temporary drone no-fly zones like the permanent ones that exist around airports.
 

Arionic

Posts: 26   +15
EMP jammers (which they already use to block remotely detonated bombs when in a motorcade, look for the black suburban with a bunch of Atenas and such popping out) and temporary drone no-fly zones like the permanent ones that exist around airports.

It could still be done. Even a drone or series of drones flying high above an area and dropping payloads is possible. My GDU Bird actually had a payload container and could carry a couple of lb's. I could see the government creating a large array of signal jammers throughout a city or DC but I would bet someone would find a way to pull it off.