Mafia informer says mobsters pioneered use of killer drones
A Mafia turncoat has revealed that Sicily's Cosa Nostra was a pioneer in the use of killer drones, testing bomb-loaded remote-controlled aircraft in the early 1990s.
Two decades before the US began using Reaper drones to strike terrorist targets in the Middle East, mobsters in Palermo were testing ways to kill rivals from the sky, Gaspare Spatuzza, a former mafioso, told a court yesterday.
Spatuzza said he was ordered by one of the Graviano brothers – two Palermo bosses in the 1990s – to buy and 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 on the aircraft. "I carried out some tests. We needed to learn how to pilot it and steer it towards targets, loading it with explosives."
He did not say if the aircraft was used in an attack.
Spatuzza's claims mark the first time a Sicilian mobster has revealed the Cosa Nostra's aim of using remote-controlled aircraft for murder.
Spatuzza has been convicted of 40 murders, but claims to have found God while in prison, pushing him to give evidence against former fellow criminals. (© Daily Telegraph, London)