Paris Terrorist Attacks: How Unmanned Aerial Systems Could Have Aided Police Response

These events forced law enforcement to take compromised positions against a formidable threat, which could have been reduced with the use of UAS

By Anthony Galante, Unmanned Safety Institute
Dr. Charles Russo, American Military University

The world has watched as horrific terrorist events have unfolded in Paris. The attacks began with the January 7 attack at Charlie Hebdo magazine that killed 12 people, including two police officers. The next day, a French policewoman was killed. French anti-terrorism forces stormed a supermarket where another terrorist, tied to the same organization, held hostages. These events and the 17 deaths associated with them, forced law enforcement to take compromised positions against a formidable threat, which could have been reduced with the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The Law Enforcement Response in Paris
Scores of French law enforcement and anti-terrorist forces took and held tactical positions on both locations, some for several hours. Unfortunately, those positions may have been categorized as concealment instead of cover as it was believed the terrorists in the warehouse were in possession of a rocket launcher. Law enforcement placed themselves in compromised rather than cover positions in hopes of ending this terror campaign against French law enforcement and the French people.

Had similar events occurred in the U.S., our law enforcement officers would have responded in a similar fashion with similar tactics, similar tools, and exposed themselves to similar dangers.

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