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Surveillance Drones To Patrol US Cities

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posted on Dec, 14 2002 @ 12:24 PM
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December 12, 2002
Agencies see homeland security role for surveillance drones

By Richard H.P. Sia, CongressDaily


An increasing number of federal agencies are pursuing plans to use pilotless surveillance aircraft to help patrol the Mexican and Canadian borders, protect the nationís major oil and gas pipelines and aid in other homeland security missions.

Incoming Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., said in an interview Tuesday that he will ask President Bush to explore the possible deployment of such aircraft, known as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, by civilian agencies responsible for homeland security.

The drones would be similar to those used in high-profile missions by the CIA and U.S. military to target suspected Taliban and al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. But unlike many of the UAVs deployed overseas, such as the one that fired a missile at a carload of suspected terrorists in Yemen last month, the drones flown for homeland security operations would not be armed with weapons, only cameras or sensors, several federal officials said.

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