An intelligence assessment titled Extremist Exploitation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles says there have been more than a dozen alleged plots around the world to use remote-piloted aircraft to carry explosives or chemical and biological agents. None of the plots succeeded.


There is no indication in the assessment about specific threats to Canada, but a separate document shows that Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) which is both a federal and a national police force of Canada has been developing guidelines for intercepting weaponized drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including whether it’s OK to shoot them down.

In a statement, RCMP spokesman Sgt. Greg Cox said: “The RCMP is always concerned about the use of new technology for potential terrorist purposes, including UAVs. However, we take the appropriate steps to address these potential threats and to ensure the safety and security of Canadians is protected.”

According to the National Post, one of the documents, an intelligence assessment dated March of this year, acknowledges that experts are divided about how much of a threat UAVs pose given that alleged plots around the world have been successfully thwarted.

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It notes that there have been at least 13 cases from 1995 to 2013 in which extremists planned or attempted to modify remote-controlled aircraft to launch attacks against targets, including the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, the House of Commons in Britain, and the military headquarters in Pakistan.

Most of the alleged plots were disrupted in the planning phase, while others were foiled during the testing phase.

Still, there was an embarrassing incident in 2013 in which activists with the German Pirate Party crashed a mini-drone at the feet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other dignitaries during a campaign event. “While the UAV did not contain weapons, some experts concluded that the incident demonstrates the threat posed by UAVs that could be modified by extremists,” the RCMP document stated.

It also noted that organized criminals have flown remote-controlled helicopters over the walls of prisons to drop drugs and cellphones to inmates. The use of drones for this purpose has reportedly happened at jails across Quebec.