US To Deploy Unmanned Drones In Skies Over Mexican Border


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 Washington (AFP) – Mar 17, 2004
The United States plans to deploy unmanned planes, or drones, into the skies over the border between Arizona and Mexico to guard against potential terrorist activities and clamp down on illegal border crossings, a top US security official said.

The drones will be flown remotely above the border under the ABC (Arizona Border Control) program in a bid to beef up border security, explained Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security at the US Department of Homeland Security.

“This landmark program supports the priority mission of Homeland Security agencies to detect and deter terrorist activities and cross-border illegal trafficking of people and drugs,” Hutchinson said in a statement.

Drones such as the “Predator” were used by the CIA in the war that ousted the Taliban from Afghanistan, they have also been used by the US military in the Balkans.

Hutchinson said the drones, or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), would give extra eyes to the Tucson Sector border patrol in the southern state of Arizona which has recently seen its manpower increased by 200 to a total 2,000 officers.

Additional border patrol helicopters will compliment the drones in their missions, he added.