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Drone technologies were high on the agenda at the recent INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore, a conference which brought together nearly 100 experts from law enforcement, academia and private industry to discuss emerging threats and opportunities related to new technologies.

Organized by the INTERPOL Innovation Centre and Counter-Terrorism unit with the support of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Netherlands Police, the conference “was a first step towards developing the global capacity to deal with the emerging threat posed by ‘unmanned aerial systems’ known as drones”.

According to INTERPOL, the key findings from the event were:

  • The potential use of drones in a terrorist incident or attack against  critical infrastructure and other national and business targets is a growing concern for law enforcement as the availability of drone technology becomes more widespread globally.
  • As drones become less expensive and their potential applications continue to expand, it is expected that countries will witness an increase and evolution of this threat.
  • Recent examples include terrorist groups using drones in surveillance activities and delivering chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive materials in conflict zones, and an environmental group which repurposed a hobby drone to enter the secure airspace of a nuclear site and crash into a building highlighted the current reality of the threat posed by the illicit use of drones.

“The rising threat of terrorist groups using drones to attack critical infrastructure and soft targets has created a pressing need for the global law enforcement community to exchange information and share best practices. INTERPOL is committed to assisting its member countries protect their critical infrastructure by raising awareness, sharing best practices and facilitating information exchange on terrorist incidents involving drones,” said INTERPOL’s Director of Counter-Terrorism, Patrick Stevens.

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