It looks like drones have become the new medium of carrying out attacks on people, as demonstrated by a supposed attack on the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The Government stated that the President had survived the assassination attempt as he was delivering a speech in the nation’s capital. It was reported that the attack was carried out by using a couple of drones carrying explosives, which went off perilously close to where he was standing. Even though the President was unharmed, this attack has highlighted the potential dangers that such devices can pose.
The President was speaking on account of the commemoration of the 81st anniversary of the nation’s National Security Guard, in the capital city of Caracas. A video grab of the incident has been widely circulated, wherein a bang can be heard just as the President is delivering his speech. The President and his team are seen looking up, as the camera shifts focus on the scattering soldiers on the street. Venezuela’s Minister of Communications confirmed the attack, indicating the attack source to be ‘drone-like devices carrying explosives’. Seven National Guards were injured in the incident. Firefighters on the location contradicted the Government’s claims, calling it a ‘gas tank explosion incident’, however, a relatively unknown group known as National Movement of Soldiers has taken responsibility for the attacks, adding that both their drones were shot down by snipers. The President, who is a leftist, blamed the Colombian government, with reports adding that several suspects have been arrested; the US, however, distanced itself from the attacks.
Meanwhile, the US Congress is making an important amendment which accounts for the integration of manned and unmanned drones over the national airspace. US Senators from North Dakota, Nevada and Virginia introduced a bipartisan agreement, according to which there would be a provision of $6 million towards unmanned aircraft systems research for their smooth integration into the national airspace. Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, stated that they hoped this amendment would be instrumental in a responsible integration of UAS into airspace. The amendment is applicable to the FY19 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development portion of the ‘minibus II’ spending package.