October 21st, 2013
07:32 AM ET

Laser Pointer Attacks on Planes Spark New FBI Probe

Incidents of lasers targeting aircraft and pilots are increasing in frequency in the New York area, the FBI said Friday.

Reports of lasers being pointed at aircraft are up 17% percent from last year, the bureau said. Injuries involving the laser occurrences are also on the rise, the FBI said; lasers can temporarily or permanently blind a pilot and crew.

The most recent incidents happened Tuesday, the FBI said.

The first involved a Shuttle America flight that was on final approach to LaGuardia Airport when a green laser illuminated the cockpit. The second was later that evening when a private aircraft reported a green laser two miles south of LaGuardia.

No injuries were reported in either instance, but earlier this year several commercial pilots suffered significant injuries, including a burnt retina, because of lasers, the FBI said.

"The FBI is asking anyone with information about any of these dangerous laser incidents to pick up the phone and call us," Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said. "Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew."


“Experts say a part of the reason we may be seeing an increase is these incidents is because these lasers are inexpensive and available online," CNN's Rene Marsh reports.

Right now there is no evidence of a link to terrorism. A law signed last year makes it a federal crime to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft and that would explain why the FBI is now investigating.”

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. kosh

    freaking radicals got new toy and are playing with it.

    October 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  2. vpm

    whys everything being linked to terrorism now days. hhmmm I wonder why? lol

    October 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  3. Nancy Holzheimer-Kovacic

    My God, what is wrong with people?! Killing machines, lurking everywhere. I hope I personally catch anyone doing this.

    October 22, 2013 at 6:48 am | Reply
  4. sincerely

    I think someone should find out every place that sells them and demand a stop production and sales of these because o the extremely high risk of endangerment to mass amounts of people.

    October 22, 2013 at 2:44 am | Reply
  5. stephen williams

    I think we will prob loose our access to inexpensive lasers if this behavior continues. Its a shame too. My cats love them.

    October 21, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  6. Steve

    What an absolutely stupid brainless thing to do. Honestly, some people really do need help. I'm looking forward to reading the story where they get caught and punished..!

    October 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  7. Christian Phillip Grace

    because of the aliens or something like that?

    October 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply

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