Homeland Security warns drones could be used as weapons

The agency is warning local law enforcement of the emerging threat that drones pose.

(Image via CNET/CBS Interactive)

Homeland Security is warning US police agencies that drones could be used as a means of launching attacks.

The federal agency sent out an intelligence assessment Friday, warning that unmanned remote-controlled aircraft could be use to advance terrorist and criminal activities, according to sister site CBS News, which first covered the story.

Read this

No place like drone: Can unmanned aerial vehicles find their place in Europe?

As hype builds over the potential of drones in business, Europe is looking at when and where rules need to be put in place.

Read More

According to federal officials speaking to the publication, drones will "gain wider appeal" with consumers, but "while many of these encounters are not malicious in nature, they underscore potential security vulnerabilities... that could be used by adversaries to leverage [drones] as part of an attack."

The bulletin reportedly does not mention any specific intelligence of a planned attack.

Earlier this year, the White House went into lockdown on two separate occasions: one in January after a drone crashed on the south-east side of the complex; and another in May after a toy drone breached the building's secure perimeter.

The second incident came days after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates the nation's skies, declared the capital a "no drone zone."

Last month, one particular drone hit the headlines again after a YouTube video purported to show a handgun attached to an unmanned vehicle. The FAA is said to be investigating the video.