Drones could be the next devices used by terrorists to carry out their evil plots, according to one of the world’s leading counter-terrorism police officers. Picture: Mark Wilson
Drones could be the next devices used by terrorists to carry out their evil plots, according to one of the world’s leading counter-terrorism police officers. Picture: Mark Wilson

The new terrorism threat from above

DRONES could be the next devices used by terrorists to carry out their evil plots, according to one of the world's leading counter-terrorism police officers.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill is second in command of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and vice-president of the leadership in counter-terrorism organisation.

He is among a panel of global experts in Melbourne for a three-day counter-terror forum.

Mr McMahill, a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's leadership in counter-terrorism program, told the Herald Sun he believed terrorists could soon start using weaponised drones to carry out devastating attacks.

"At a stadium, a soccer pitch, whatever it is, a lot of what we talk about here is emerging issues," he said.

"Our adversaries are often one step ahead. The possibilities (with drones) are endless. You could use chemicals, you could use weapons. There are a lot of different opportunities."

A leading counter-terrorism expert believes terrorists could soon start using weaponised drones to carry out devastating attacks.
A leading counter-terrorism expert believes terrorists could soon start using weaponised drones to carry out devastating attacks.

Mr McMahill believes law enforcement agencies are limited in how they could respond to a drone attack.

"If you think about it, what is your (the police's) capability right now to do anything about that?" he said.

"It is very difficult … finding the operator of the drone … there are a lot of things that are at the forefront as we try and figure out the answers to some of these things."

New legislation may be required to combat such a threat, according to Mr McMahill.

"It is not just a federal issue to defeat weaponised drones, because at the end of the day you have state local law enforcement that has to be involved," he said.

Mr McMahill praised the actions of police in Victoria in fighting terrorism in recent weeks.

Police shot and killed terrorist Hassan Khalif Shire Ali in Bourke St on November 9 after he stabbed Melbourne restaurant icon Sisto Malaspina to death and injured two other men in a rampage.

Then, on November 20, Hanifi Halis, 21, Ertunc Eriklioglu, 30, and Samed Eriklioglu, 26, were arrested after detectives uncovered a plot to buy a black market semi-automatic gun, allegedly the first step in a plan to carry out a mass shooting in Melbourne.

"It is a tough job and it seems to me that here in Australia they are getting it right," Mr McMahill said.



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