In January, news of the six lethal drone attacks, condemned by Pakistan’s government and recorded by the Bureau of Investigation, was not found in Western media. Double standards? Great concern, however, is expressed when Western lives are threatened by alleged terror drones.
In December, Professor David Dunn (University of Birmingham) warned, after a drone flew within 20ft of an Airbus A320 as it landed at Heathrow Airport in July, that drones could be used as flying bombs by terrorists to take down a passenger aircraft. He called for improved security measures to deal with the “gaping hole” in the national defences; multiple remote-controlled unmanned aircraft could be flown into the engines of a jumbo jet, causing it to crash.
Government adviser John Large is a nuclear engineer who has carried out work for Britain’s Atomic Energy Authority and advised the French government after a growing number of mysterious unmanned flights over that country’s nuclear plants were reported on this website. Many newspapers, including the Express, report that Mr Large also said drones pose a risk to the UK’s 16 operational reactors. Nuclear power stations around the UK experienced 37 security breaches in 2014 – and a dozen since 2011. One at least was said to have been carried out by a drone.
The Deccan Chronicle reports that counter-terrorism experts have already warned that the Islamic State (IS) has recruited chemical weapons specialists and are “intent on building a dirty bomb.”
Mr Large has called for a major exercise to test the resilience of the nation’s power stations against acts of terrorism and MP Mark Pritchard, a member of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, said these recommendations would be taken “very seriously”. A spokeswoman for the Department for Energy and Climate Change said: “The Government works closely with the Office for Nuclear Regulation, the independent security regulator, to ensure security measures at UK civil nuclear sites are of the highest possible standard”.
As anxiety is expressed over this, as yet, hypothetical danger, the murders by drone in distant countries continue – and are not even deemed newsworthy.