Last weekend, in Venezuela, the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, was attacked by two armed drones carrying explosives that were detonated while Maduro was delivering a speech on live television during a military ceremony. Although Maduro was not struck by the explosives, his administrative officials called it an assassination attempt. This drone attack was the most recent of assassination attempts against Maduro, who was declared the winner of the election in May of this year, meaning that his term will not end until 2025. During the drone attack, the video feed was interrupted, but Maduro continued to talk as other voices in the background were heard yelling for people to leave the area. A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said its Caracas embassy issued a security alert, but did not respond to Maduro’s allegation of a plot by the opposing political party in Venezuela.
Drone incidents involving heads of state date back to September 2013, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel was disrupted during a public appearance by a drone which was a publicity stunt by an opposing political party. Of course, in that instance, the drone was not equipped with weaponry of any kind.
As the threat of drone terrorism attacks becomes more prevalent, anti-drone technology will likely become increasingly important not only for government officials, but also for critical infrastructure and highly-attended events and gatherings.