A drone has been spotted hovering over the current offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, as the mystery of the unmanned aircraft seen over Paris in recent weeks deepened with a further 10 sightings on Tuesday night.
French authorities have been flummoxed by the string of sightings of drones in France in recent weeks that have seen them illicitly fly over 17 nuclear power plants and a nuclear submarine base, as well as the Elysée Palace, the Eiffel Tower and the US embassy in Paris.
While police insist there is nothing to worry about, the sightings have raised public fears that terrorists could find a way to attach explosives or toxic chemicals to the drones.
On Tuesday night, a policeman reportedly spotted one hovering outside the offices of Libération newspaper, which is currently housing Charlie Hebdo – the satirical magazine targeted in an attack by Islamist gunmen in January that killed 12.
A police patrol gave chase to another drone at the porte de Montreuil, which leads to the ring road southeast of the capital. They were unable to keep up with it due to traffic, but the drone was then spotted at the nearby Porte de Vincennes, where another Islamist shot dead four people at a Jewish supermarket in the January attacks.
It was retrieved by four men who fled in a black car onto Paris’s “périphérique”, or ring road.
Little is known about the motivations of the drone owners and whether they are merely thrill-seekers playing with their new “toys” or individuals with more sinister aims.
The Paris prosecutor has launched an inquiry into “aircraft flight in a forbidden zone”, which is being led by Paris’s air transport gendarmes unit…