Mysterious plane circling Twin Cities raises concerns over surveillance

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The unusual pattern of a plane that has been seen circling above the Twin Cities has raised concerns that it is being used for government surveillance.

KSTP reports that flight patterns for a Cessna 182T Skylane, call sign N361DB, show it circling above various locations in and around the metro area, prompting a response from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which believes the plane is equipped with surveillance gear.

The FBI has refused to comment on whether it is using the plane as part of an investigation, but ACLU-MN legislative director told KSTP that its surveillance planes have the ability to "capture activity in an entire city in just a few swoops, including cell phone data and license plate readers."

The aircraft's history on FlightRadar24 shows it has circled above the west metro area on several occasions over the past 10 days – including over Minneapolis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park and Burnsville.

MPR reports as well that last Friday the plane circled downtown and Powderhorn Park during rush hour in a route "so precise that it suggests the plane may have been on autopilot."

According to FlightAware, the plane is one of three Cessnas registered to a corporation named LCB Leasing based out of Bristow, Virginia.

The Star Tribune spoke to local aviation expert John Zimmerman, who found a report from the Washington Post stating that a plane registered to another company based in Bristow had been used by the FBI to circle Baltimore hours after the recent riots.

Similar flights have been seen above Chicago, Boston and in California.

The Star Tribune reports that police departments in Minneapolis, Bloomington and Hennepin County had no knowledge of the flight, while the FBI did not comment on who owned the plane and said it couldn't speak to "an operational matter." It has though previously acknowledged using planes above Baltimore.

Next Up

Michael Pineda

Twins' trade targets raise their value in win over Tigers

Michael Pineda pitched well but Taylor Rogers left the game with an injury.

Flickr - state capitol minneosta - Ken Lund

Criminal charges possible for woman who drove on State Capitol grounds

She drove on the sidewalk and lawn, and at one point waved a large "Trump 2020" flag out the window.

training camp

10 things fans should know before going to Vikings training camp

Masks are not required, but strongly encouraged for the unvaccinated.

4852014184_b86eb6b123_k

Cases of COVID-19 linked to Provincetown outbreak found in Minnesota

There have been more than 550 cases linked to the Massachusetts tourist destination since the 4th of July weekend.

Aaron Rodgers

Reports: Aaron Rodgers set for at least one more year with the Packers

Both sides showing signs of optimism just before training camp begins.

Twitter - KARE 11 jeopardy screengrab

KARE 11 crew teases upcoming 'Jeopardy!' cameo

Some familiar local faces will be providing contestants with "Minneapolis News" clues.

Screen Shot 2021-07-26 at 1.41.24 PM

Second victim of deadly crash in Orono is identified

The crash also was fatal for the son of Gophers hockey coach Bob Motzko.

Witzmann and Coleman

Ex-Viking and ex-Gopher could be contestants for Edina's 'Bachelorette'

Michelle Young, a teacher from Edina, is the show's Season 18 star.

Mayo clinic

Mayo Clinic will require COVID-19 vaccines for all its staff

Those who decline will be required to wear masks and socially distance while on campus.

Related