by Patrick Devlin

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI owns and operates unmanned surveillance drones that have been used by the agency for surveillance purposes.

Mueller, responding to a question asked by Iowa senator Chuck Grassley, advised the committee that the FBI surveillance drones have been used in surveillance operations on American soil. Mueller, in an attempt to assuage the concerns of the congressional overseers, assured that the FBI’s use of unmanned surveillance drones to spy on Americans was “very seldom” and only in “particular instances.”

Mueller further advised the committee that, although the agency has thus far only used its unmanned drone capabilities in the US on limited occasions, the FBI is currently establishing agency guidelines and rules for its future domestic drone surveillance operations.