Homeland Security warns of weaponized drones as terror threat


The Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning Americans about the potential threat of terrorists using weaponized drones as possible means to attack commercial aircrafts in America. The updated bulletin also included warnings of chemical attacks.

The bulletin was recently been updated following growing concerns about terrorists targeting the airline sector, a senior official at DHS told ABC.

"... terrorists continue to target commercial aviation and air cargo, including with concealed explosives," the bulletin says.

The National Terrorism Advisory System replaces the old color coded system indicating the level of threat facing Americans. Bulletin is the lowest, elevated alert is mid-level and the highest imminent alert "warns of a credible, specific and impending terrorism threat against the United States," according to the bulletin.

According to the official, there has been an "uptick in terrorist interest" in using unmanned aerial systems as weapons in the U.S. and other western countries, ABC reported.

"We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the Internet to inspire, enable, or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts," the bulletin reads. "Terrorist groups are urging recruits to adopt easy-to-use tools to target public places and events … Some terrorist groups overseas are using battlefield experiences to pursue new technologies and tactics, such as unmanned aerial systems and chemical agents that could be used outside the conflict zones."

The official told ABC DHS wants to prevent the tactics terrorists use on the battlefield from coming to America and be "forward leaning" about what terrorists are doing overseas and what tactics they may adopt.

New security measures are being implemented across the country by DHS for airports and airlines that fly directly to the United States. Additionally, the administration announced in June new "enhanced screening" of passengers and their electronic devices. "Seen and unseen" security inside the airport and around aircrafts has also been increased, ABC reported.

These enhanced security measures are designed to detect concealed weapons, insider threats and suspicious passengers. However, recent undercover tests by DHS found the Transportation Security Administration failed to detect knives, guns and mock explosives more than half the time.

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US Department of Homeland Security -- TSA, ICE, Customs and Border Protection
WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 7: The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington, United States on March 7, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer stands in the TSA pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer operates an x-ray machine in the TSA pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Prohibited items are displayed as they sit in a voluntary abandoned property bin in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sign stands at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to lapse after Friday and the agency would face a partial shutdown unless Congress provides new money. More than 200,000 government employees deemed essential at DHS, including TSA officers, would still have to report to their posts, even though their pay would stop unless Congress finds a solution. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers check passenger's identification at a security checkpoint at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to lapse after Friday and the agency would face a partial shutdown unless Congress provides new money. More than 200,000 government employees deemed essential at DHS, including TSA officers, would still have to report to their posts, even though their pay would stop unless Congress finds a solution. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 02: A sign directs travelers to a security checkpoint staffed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers at O'Hare Airport on June 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Department of Homeland Security said that the acting head of the TSA would be replaced following a report that airport screeners failed to detect explosives and weapons in nearly all of the tests that an undercover team conducted at airports around the country. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The entrance to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Cyber Crimes Center is seen in this U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) building in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S. on July 21, 2015. Courtesy Josh Denmark/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
$506,057 of the more than a $1-million collected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Laredo, Texas port of entry in two separate southbound enforcement actions is seen after being seized in this undated handout photo released by CBP on July 27, 2010. On July 22, CBP officers seized $506,057 in undeclared cash from a 36-year-old male Mexican citizen from Brookshire, Texas driving south into Mexico. The second money seizure occurred on July 25 as CBP Field Operations Officers and Border Patrol (BP) agents seized 50 bundles containing $607,629 in undeclared U.S.currency from a 33 year-old Mexican citizen driving south into Mexico from Houston, Texas. The drivers were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents for further investigation. REUTERS/U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
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