July 26, 2013
The FBI revealed to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that it has flown drones in U.S. airspace ten times since 2006.
In a letter released by Paul on Thursday, Stephen Kelly, the FBI’s director of legislative affairs, said that the agency uses drones in “very limited circumstances” for aerial surveillance. None of the drones are armed with either lethal or non-lethal weapons, Kelly said.
Eight of the times the FBI used drones were for criminal cases and two of the times were for national security.
The agency said it used a drone earlier this year in Alabama to support the rescue of a five year-old boy who was being held hostage in an underground bunker.
“The FBI does not use (unmanned aerial vehicles) to conduct ‘bulk’ surveillance or to conduct general surveillance not related to an investigation or assessment,” Kelly wrote.