An alarming incident happened just about a year ago, where a California power plant was targeted and shot up by several men with AK-47’s. Sometime later, authorities have now come forward to express that this wasn’t vandalism or a failed attack, but rather a “dry run” for a domestic terrorist attack.
Sparking the news explosion just last week, a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission expressed that the incident was, “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred.” As it turns out, the incident may have been the product of a tactical and precise strike designed to test the operational functionality of an undisclosed team.
The attack began when one member of the team broke into a protected section of an AT&T communication line and severed it disrupting security response from the plant. Within a half hour, the 6-man group had made their way to a designated vantage point and began shooting at designated transformers. Taking out 10 transformers in all, the men scurried along their way and disappeared into the night as police made their way to the scene.
It took the men a mere 19 minutes to almost cripple the electrical responsibility of the plant that contributes to the California grid. Since that time, major concerns have been raised regarding American’s electrical vulnerabilities.
Although the media was busy spewing that the attack was that of vandalism it appears that even back then, the government knew otherwise. The, at the time, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff immediately flew out to the site not only with energy experts but criminal experts as well.
PG&E spokesman Brian Swanson relayed, “[Vandalism] is how we typically categorize incidents where other people damage our facilities. We are required to submit a report right after an incident, and with limited information that’s how we categorized it.” Allowing the media to run with that, the government began investigating the more sinister cause of the attack.
What they found was truly amazing and pointed to anything but vandalism. According to the Wall Street Journal, “In addition to fingerprint-free shell casings, they pointed out small piles of rocks, which they said could have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.” Wellinghoff soon realized, “it was a targeting package just like they (military experts) would put together for an attack.”
Former PG&E Vice President of Transmission, Mark Johnson, was prone to agree with Wellinghoff’s assertion. He expressed just that when he mentioned, “This wasn’t an incident where Billy-Bob and Joe decided, after a few brewskis, to come in and shoot up a substation. This was an event that was well thought out, well planned and they targeted certain components.”
So why has this gone unnoticed for just about a year now?
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, shared that, “People have an almost infinite capacity for not wanting to think about ugly things, and the utilities and companies who could be affected have demonstrated and extraordinary capacity of ostrich-like behavior.”
Further delving into the frustration of it all, he added, “It’s not as if society isn’t paying attention … there has been a lot of concern about the electric grid from cyber threats and people are already somewhat worried about it and this is a new dimension — at least new in the sense of public attention — which was almost nonexistent up until about a week ago.”
A man who served on the Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Commission, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, recently shared with The Blaze that their suggestion that this was a “dry run” was extremely accurate. He continued by saying, “If it was a terrorist attack, the electric power industry and the media are almost certainly in error to describe it as a ‘failed attack.’”
Conveying the plausibility in it all, Pry said, “In military and terrorist operational planning, an exercise or dry run deliberately stops short of destroying the target or achieving the maximum outcome because you do not want to alert the adversary. You want the victim to remain vulnerable to a surprise all-out attack, most likely a much larger and more ambitious attack.”
The recent facts that have come to light have shifted focus onto our seemingly vulnerable energy grid that we unknowingly depend upon so much. Not giving any thought to this will surely be America’s downfall and has left several officials scrambling to preemptively act.
In one last reality sinking blow, Woosley concluded, “Without electricity we aren’t a civilization, and this is a major societal vulnerability.”
What do you think – could this be a sign of bigger things to come? Does America need to be more involved in securing our electrical grids? Let us know in a comment below.
(h/t: The Blaze)