ISIS Power Grid Attack Threats – Will Terrorists Make The Lights Go Out?
ISIS is threatening to take down the U.S. power grid. Earlier this month, Israel National News agency, Arutz Sheva, reported that Yemen experienced a nationwide blackout that occurred because of terrorism; warnings about the attack were ignored.
The power grid is America’s most vulnerable and antiquated piece of infrastructure. Rumors about attacks on the nation’s electrical system by ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Chinese hackers have abounded for several years, yet the Obama administration and Congress have failed to act and bolster the grid against such a TEOTWAWKI event.
The power blackout in Yemen reportedly occurred on June 9 in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Qaeda fighters were believed to use rocket-propelled grenades and mortars to take down transmission towers. Such a massive incident should have generated international headlines, but it did not.
According to a report on Prepper Fortess, Yemen acquired a minimum of 15 Scud-B missiles capable of carrying biological, chemical or highly-explosive warheads a range of 300 kilometers. Concerns about electromagnetic pulse attacks (EMP) increased after North Korea allegedly supplied such weaponry to rebels in Yemen.
ISIS threats to the American power grid emerged in 2014. Dr. Peter Vincent Pry told federal officials that “inadequate grid security and a porous U.S.-Mexico border” were both immediate concerns that needed to be addressed, the Washington Examiner reports.
“The fragile transmission systems make the electric grid a target for ISIS,” Dr. Pry, a leading expert on grid security, said.
Pry was one of many former government staffers who emphatically warned that if just a handful of power grid transformers were knocked out, the entire electrical system could fail quickly and ultimately leave the entire nation in the dark.
A U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission study revealed that power-grid attacks on only “nine key transformer substations” could create a nationwide blackout that would last for at least weeks, if not months.
“By one estimate, should the power go out and stay out for over a year, nine out of 10 Americans would likely perish,” Frank Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., said. Gaffney has dubbed the ongoing threat “grid jihad.”
The Congressional EMP Commission has repeatedly warned that a nuclear Scud missile launched from a freighter could prompt a U.S. blackout that would not only last for at least a year, but kill nine in every 10 Americans. There are nearly 6,000 power plants and 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines connected to one another in order to keep the power grid functioning. Many of the lines and transformers are decades old.
If the power grid failed, tractor-trailers carrying food and medicine would stop rolling. Without functioning gas pumps at convenience stores, all generators that used anything other than solar power would soon be worthless pieces of metal. Preppers who have stored and stabilized fuel will of course be better positioned to keep the power flowing longer than others, but the sound of the genny running will most definitely attract unwanted (and potentially deadly) attention.
ISIS and al-Qaeda are both sophisticated groups that have copious amounts of money to spend and are adept at using both cash and the internet to accomplish their terrorism goals. In 2014 a “terrorist teleconference” was reportedly held and more than 20 leaders of al-Qaeda and affiliates virtually attended.
Dr. Pry cited the Knights Templar incident in Mexico as an example of the long reach ISIS leaders have in his warning about just how easy it would be for the Islamic State to take down the power grid. In 2013, the Knights Templar drug gang took down the electrical grid in Michoacan, a Mexican state. The blackout was allegedly conducted to cover up the drug trade fighting and killing.
“The Knights Templars and other criminal gangs in Mexico will do anything for money, and ISIS, the richest terrorist organization in history, has hundreds of millions of dollars at its disposal,” Pry said. “ISIS could hire one of the Mexican cartels, or one of their criminal gangs already in the U.S., or activate jihadist terror cells already in the U.S., and inflict a multi-state blackout immediately, within days or weeks. Perhaps even a nationwide blackout.
Given the capabilities and objectives of ISIS and our obvious vulnerabilities, it would be foolish to ignore the threat to the grid, to regard the threat as unlikely. Our planning should be based on imminent asymmetrical threats, and not assume that another 9/11 large-scale attack is years away.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety appears to concur with Dr. Pry’s assessment of the border crossing threat by ISIS operatives or paid drug gang members. Representatives from the agency acknowledged that evidence that ISIS is planning such an attack has presented itself.
In June the Committee on Homeland Security passed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, or CIPA. The legislation was drafted to address the threat of an EMP attack and to take steps to protect the American people from the long-term disaster and economic collapse that would surely follow such a doomsday event.
Representative Trent Franks authored the SHIELD Act, which was also designed to address the same concerns. Although the bill had substantial bipartisan support, it languished in committee and was never presented to the full governing body for a vote.
Representative Franks had this to say about the committee approval of CIPA:
“I sincerely applaud and thank Chairman McCaul and the House Committee on Homeland Security for passing the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) out of Committee today. The electric grid is fundamental to our modern way of life and is a vital component of nearly every other critical infrastructure in America. Reducing its vulnerability to naturally occurring or weaponized electromagnetic pulse is a matter of national security.”
While making it out of committee was quite a feat, the bill has a long way to go before becoming law and garnering the funds to begin implementing the EMP grid protection steps outlined in the legislation.
Neither ISIS nor al-Qaeda operatives would be attempting a Fort Knox level break-in during an effort to take down the power grid. As previously reported by Survival Based, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the grid only a “D+” grade during an infrastructure review in late 2013. No improvements to the nation’s electrical system have been initiated since the barely passing grade was issued.
An excerpt from the American Society of Civil Engineers report reads:
“America relies on an aging electrical grid and pipeline distribution systems, some of which originated in the 1880s. Investment in power transmission has increased since 2005, but ongoing permitting issues, weather events, and limited maintenance have contributed to an increasing number of failures and power interruptions.
Do you think ISIS or another enemy of the United States will attempt a power grid terrorism attack?
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