“In the Cassidian Air Systems sector it was an unmanned aircraft Type Harfang belonging to the French Army that monitored the visit of Pope Benedict to Lourdes in 2007 from the air and helped the French security services to maintain an overview.”
“Two decades before the US began using Reaper drones to strike terrorist targets in the Middle East, mobsters in Palermo were testing ways to rain death on rivals from the sky, former mafioso Gaspare Spatuzza told a court on Tuesday.
Spatuzza said he was ordered by one of the Graviano brothers - two senior Palermo bosses in the 1990s - to buy and flight test radio controlled aircraft with explosives attached.
“Graviano ordered me to buy a radio controlled aircraft,” he said. “He said others had already bought them and we needed to carry out tests for transforming them into flying bombs by loading them with explosives.”
Spatuzza said he had spent around 500 euros on the aircraft. “I carried out some tests,” he said. “We needed to learn how to pilot it and steer it towards targets, loading it with a modest amount of explosives.” He did not say if the aircraft was used in an attack.”