French Police have established a special Police group after drones were spotted flying close to sensitive sights this morning. The flights took place between 1am and 6am, and have raised fears of a terrorists attack.
The sights involved were the US Embassy, the Bastille, the Invalides military museum, the Place de la Concorde, and the Eiffel Tower. The drones were described by French Police as having been “commercially available”, but the flights come at a time when the country is on a high state of alert due to the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
There have also been 17 cases of unmanned drones flying over French Nuclear sights, although none of them has attempted to land or cause damage. France has a large number of Nuclear Power Plants, and any successful attacks on them could prove disastrous for the country.
Local police did attempt to capture the drones but they got away. A spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: “It could be a coordinated action but we don’t know yet”. None of them is believed to be heavy enough to damage any buildings, but police are concerned they may have been used for training, surveillance or to carry weapons.
The new police group is formed of ten officers who specialise in aviation security and terrorism. They will now assess the threat to Paris and other major cities of this sort of attack. It is illegal to use drones in this way but the maximum sentence of a year in prison and a €75,000 (£55,000) fine does not appear to have deterred the individuals behind these flights.
There have been concerns raised across Europe about the risk of drone attacks. The drones themselves are easy to buy and relatively cheap, but they can still harm members of the public under certain circumstances. This has led police in Britain to warn the public not to attempt to fly them close so sensitive buildings like Parliament and Buckingham Palace.