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Recent Laser Incidents not Terrorism

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The incidents that have been reported lately involving lasers being projected into the cockpit of aircraft have been ruled out as linked to terrorism. However, we do know that terrorists have expressed interest in using lasers to blind pilots, so this is a story that will probably have legs.

A string of incidents around the country involving laser beams aimed at aircraft aren’t linked to terrorism and are more likely the work of mischief makers, the FBI said Sunday.

The FBI attributed eight incidents in the past 10 days to pranks or accidental acts that tagged aircraft in Ohio, Texas, Oregon and New Jersey. Pilots reported that powerful laser beams apparently had been aimed at them during takeoffs and landings.

Lasers have been a growing concern in the aviation community. Laser pointers, devices the size of a pen that are used by public speakers, have enough power to cause vision problems in pilots from a distance of 2 miles, according to the Federal Aviation Administration ). A pilot hit by a laser also could become distracted.

The Homeland Security Department issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies in November warning that terrorist groups have expressed an interest in using them.

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