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Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Drones fly over Paris landmarks during night
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From the French Edition of The Local

Security sources have reported that several drones were flown over specific Paris landmarks in the early hours of Tuesday, including the Eiffel Tower and the American Embassy. 

At least five drones were spotted flying over central Paris landmarks during the night and police were unable to catch the operators.

The first drone sighting was near the US embassy in the French capital. The Eiffel Tower, the Place de la Concorde and the Invalides military museum "were also flown over" in the early hours of Tuesday, a security source told AFP. All the flights were detected between midnight and 6am. "It could be a coordinated action but we don't know for now," the source, who asked not to be identified. 

A specialist aviation unit of the police is investigation the reports of the drone flights, but for the moment authorities have no idea who was behind the controls.The incidents are just the latest in the long line of mysterious drone appearances in France, although until Tuesday "there have never been so many drones appearing in one night," the security source said.

Earlier this year a drone was spotted flying over the Elysée Palace at night and last year questions were asked about security at France's nuclear power stations after at least drone flights were reported at several plants.

French author and air safety expert Christophe Naudin told The Local he believes the drone at the Elysée was operated by someone hoping to get some exclusive photos, but he said the motive might not be as harmless in the future. "One day they will be used for something more dangerous. Currently drones are not developed enough to be able to carry something like a grenade or a bomb but in the years to come they will be. At the moment terrorists don't have the training to be able to use them, but that won't always be the case."

And as for the drones flying over the French nuclear plants, Naudin said: “The first thing to say is that it’s not people having a bit of fun; the people behind this are professionals. . . These are not the type of drones used by amateurs to take films, they are used by real pros.”"

Despite a heightened security alert over the risk of Islamist attacks in France, police so far have been unable to identify who is behind the drone activity.

 

 

 

 

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Posted on 02/24/2015 3:45 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Comments
24 Feb 2015
Christina McIntosh
My advice to the French authorities, in Paris and elsewhere: call in your military, and then, quietly, behind the scenes, get them to consult with the Israelis, who have a bit of experience with drone technology, and who have had flyovers - or attempted flyovers - by drones of hostile origin. The next drone or drones of unknown origin that is or are seen flying near the Eiffer tower, or Notre Dame, or any other iconic location, requires to be captured. Shot down, if necessary. And inspected. Or, once detected, tracked to its touchdown, and those who launched it, identified, and investigated. Drones could be used to spread lethal biological or chemical or radioactive materials...showering or sprinkling them down upon picnickers by the Seine, tourists on the Eiffel Tower, shoppers in the Champs d'Elysees, worshippers and tourists emerging from the Cathedral. Or they could be used to start fires. Whoever it is who is flying these drones needs to be identified, and quickly.


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