Online flight tracking exposes FBI Aerial Surveillance over San Bernardino Mosque after Terrorist Attack

Dec 05 2015 - 12 Comments

FBI aircraft have been particularly active over San Bernardino, California, during and after the mass shooting.

As already highlighted on Twitter, several assets, including FBI planes and media helicopters, could be tracked online on Dec. 2, during the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

Interestingly, the following days, the FBI conducted aerial surveillance in the vicinity of the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah-Amer mosque in San Bernardino.

The activity was conducted by an aircraft registered to PXW Services (a fake company established by the FBI), that loitered for 4 hours near the mosque on Dec. 3. Similar surveillance missions were conducted the next day, including a flight by another FBI aircraft with registration number N404KR.

The mosque was visited regularly by one of the attackers, Sayed Farook, and is approximately 5 miles away from the initial attack site at the Inland Regional Center.

You can view an animation of the surveillance flight (based on FlightRadar24 data) prepared by The Aviationist’s contributor Eric Rosenwald here:

Many thanks to Eric Rosenwald for contributing to this post.

  • John Citizen


  • and well warranted too.

  • radiskull

    Thank you FBI for doing your job well. I completely support you. Also thank you Aviationist for bringing me this information and increasing my respect for the FBI.

  • OG_Locc

    Does it bother anybody else that Flightradar’s stock photo for a Pilatus PC-12/45 is a Cessna 172?

    • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

      That’s actually a 182

  • rickstr

    Flight pattern, speed and altitude suggest use of stingray type device.

  • IronButterfly

    A few months ago a Cessna 172 or 182 was circling a particular suburb in the city I live in (major southern city). At first I thought that they were probably doing photo work but they circled for at least 1 1/2 hours. Maybe I know why now.

  • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

    Yeah. It has three propeller blades, a distinctive tail and an inherently higher pointing nose. But yeah, regardless, it’s definitely not even close to a PC-12

  • OG_Locc


    • Eric Rosenwald

      If you look up the registration number, N657TP, it gives you information on the aircraft type, owner, etc.

    • Eric Rosenwald

      If you look up the registration number of the aircraft, you will find information on the owner and the aircraft type. That’s how we know that it was a Cessna 182.

      • OG_Locc

        Gotcha. Why does flightradar say it’s a PC-12/45? Is that for a different plane?