French gang may have used drones before helicopter prison break

The heavily armed commando gang that helped a notorious gangster escape from a French prison by helicopter on Sunday may have used drones to gather information for the daring breakout.
Their hijacked helicopter landed in the one prison courtyard not fitted with anti-aircraft netting, suggesting a well-planned operation and several reconnaissance missions, French authorities said. The French justice minister, Nicole Belloubet, said a number of drones were spotted flying over the jail at Réau, south-east of Paris, in recent months. She said investigators were looking at possible links to Sunday’s breakout.“Someone spotted this possible way out, and it could have been done using drones,” Belloubet said.Rédoine Faïd and his gang have been on the run since Sunday. It is the second time Faïd, a serial robber of banks and armoured vehicles and a fan of Hollywood mafia heroes, has escaped jail in five years.Faïd was facing 25 years in prison for a series of crimes, including a attempted robbery in 2010 that led to a high-speed car chase and shootout with police in which officer Aurélie Fouquet, 26, was killed.“Rédouine Faïd is someone who has freedom in his DNA. He also has law-breaking in his DNA,” Laurent-Franck Liénard, the Fouquet family lawyer, told RTL radio on Monday. Faïd, 46, was talking to his brother Brahim in the prison’s visiting area when, using smoke bombs to create a distraction, three masked and hooded commandos, reportedly armed with Kalashnikovs and wearing “police” armbands, cut through a security door using an angle grinder and snatched him.