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FBI worries drones could disrupt Super Bowl

Illustration of drones surrounding a football
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The inconceivable is conceivable: After a few crazy months, drones are among the worries on the FBI's radar ahead of the Super Bowl in Atlanta, the AP reports.

Driving the news: "The sky above the stadium that will host Sunday’s Super Bowl is being 'inundated' with an alarming number of drones, raising the specter of injuries to tourists or others — or a possible collision with aircraft, the FBI said."

Why it matters: As we've seen at airports like Gatwick and Newark, even reports of drones can stretch law enforcement thin and inject fresh peril into already-fraught situations.

  • Imagine the nightmare if they have to delay or pause the Super Bowl because of some idiot with a drone.

What they're saying:

  • “[W]e have no idea if [a drone in the air is] friendly, or if it’s someone who has nefarious plans and it’s weaponized," FBI spokesman Kevin Rowson told the AP.
  • “It has taken up a lot of time for our agents and for law enforcement officers to be targeting these drones when they could be working on other security measures,” he said.
  • “A drone impact with a fixed-wing aircraft or a helicopter would be catastrophic,” said FBI Special Agent John Cronier.

Be smart: Don't fly drones over the Super Bowl.

Go deeper: The drone nightmare is here