(Bloomberg) – The potential for terrorists to pack small consumer drones with explosives or to use them as weapons has become a "tangible reality" in the U.S. that keeps security teams awake at night, two officials said.

Deadly payload

Terror groups outside the U.S., including the Islamic State or ISIS, have in recent months begun using small unmanned aircraft in attacks, which has substantially raised the risks that such actions are possible domestically, the officials said Wednesday at a security conference in Washington.

"Small UAS with a small payload, that can be absolutely deadly," said Mark Lilly, an Air Force expert in security threats, referring to drones by the acronym for unmanned aerial systems. Small amounts of explosive compounds could be attached to the millions of small commercial drones that have been sold in this country, Lilly said.

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