Experts have warned that as remote-controlled drone technology produces smaller and cheaper units, terrorists could seek to use them to potentially spray biological weapons.
The U.S. military is currently the undisputed leader in drone warfare, but many world powers are quickly acquiring and adapting the technology, which presents a challenge to American security experts, according to TheAustralian.com.au.
"I think of where the airplane was at the start of World War I: at first it was unarmed and limited to a handful of countries," P. W. Singer, the author of the book Wired for War, said, TheAustralian.com.au reports. "Then it was armed and everywhere. That is the path we're on."
The recent arrest of Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old man accused of plotting to fly an explosives-laden remote controlled airplane into the U.S. Capitol, shows that a scenario where an unmanned vehicle could be used to attack a city is not farfetched.
To date, only the United States, Israel and Britain are thought to have used drones for air-to-ground strikes, but more than 50 countries have bought or developed their own unmanned aerial vehicles, according to the New York Post.
The same qualities that make U.A.V.’s appealing to the Obama administration for counterterrorism make them appealing to the terrorists themselves. They can be used for surveillance or strikes, are cheap and no danger is posed to their operator, who could be located on the other side of the world.