London: Alarmed by the proliferation of small drones, Britain's defence and security officials fear that terrorists could fly drones carrying bombs into landmark UK buildings.
Small drones are now available from high street retailers or on the Internet for less than 1,000 pounds and security officials say this has raised the possibility that they could be used to launch terrorist attacks.
An expert cross-government team is to consider how to detect and bring down small drones that could carry out assassinations or deliver explosives or dirty bombs, 'The Sunday Times' reported.
"It is not a case of just flying down Oxford Street. Where else might someone want to fly, what building might they want to fly it into to deliver whatever the payloads might happen to be," a defence source told the newspaper in reference to the concerns.
The more sophisticated four and six-rotor drones can be manoeuvred using GPS technology, meaning they could be flown over security barriers and onto the roof, or through doors or windows, of sensitive buildings.
The warnings follow the discovery in April of a small drone reportedly containing traces of radiation on the roof of the Japanese prime minister's office in Tokyo.
In January, a wayward drone flown by an off-duty intelligence employee crashed in the grounds of the White House.
UK-based defence group Selex ES last week unveiled details of a shield that identifies and then takes over control of drones being used to launch terror attacks.
Rather than jamming the navigation system of a suspect drone, causing it to fall out of the sky, the Falcon Shield system can direct it away from its target and force it to land away from crowds.
"An IED (improvised explosive device) borne by a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), that is a very real threat at the moment," said Stephen Williams, capability manager at Selex ES.
"It is probably just a matter of time before something adverse is done using a drone."?
A Scotland Yard spokesperson told the newspaper: "We recognise the increasing use of drones represents a potential security, safety and privacy challenge."