A Phoenix aviation photographer may have captured photos of secret FBI spy planes at Deer Valley Airport.
Chris Kennedy posted photos of the two Cessna aircraft on Flickr. The registration records for the aircraft lead to two companies identified by the Associated Press as dummy corporations set up by the Department of Justice.
And the spy planes appear to still be flying.
All day Thursday, a Cessna aircraft was flying in circles over specific areas of the Valley. It spent more than an hour circling the area of 7th Street and Cave Creek Road, then continued on to circle the White Tank Mountains.
The aircraft went by the call sign JENA24, which is rumored to be used with FBI surveillance operations, and transmitted on the same frequency as many of the other suspected FBI planes.
The FBI Phoenix Field Office issued a statement, saying:
"The FBI's aviation program is not secret; specific aircraft and their capabilities are protected for operational security purposes. FBI routinely uses aviation assets in support of predicated investigations targeting specific individuals.
"The aircraft are not equipped, designed, or used for bulk collection activities or mass surveillance. The FBI uses all tools and equipment, and conducts all investigations, in accordance with the Attorney General Guidelines and the FBI's Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide."
But representatives from the ACLU said they're concerned about what kind of intelligence the FBI is gathering from these flights. The FBI has admitted to using technology that simulates cellular towers in order to collect phone data. An ACLU spokesman said the organization wants to know more about what the FBI is gathering with that technology.