Attack On California Electric Grid Raises Alarm

It has been publicly acknowledged since 9/11 that Iran has hundreds of agents scattered throughout the United States.  Since that time, there have been many suspicious incidents involving Iranians, with diplomatic immunity, surveilling U.S. infrastructure, including the filming of the New York subway tracks and Grand Central Station, the photographing of New York City landmarks, including bridges and tunnels, and the casing of water lines and heliport landing areas, to name a few.

When a real terrorist attack happens, sometimes we don’t hear about it until months afterward (if we ever hear about it at all).  For example, did you know that a team of snipers shot up a power station in California?

SniperThe terrorists destroyed 17 transformers and did so much damage that the power station was shut down for a month.  And it only took them 19 minutes of shooting to do it.

Of course most Americans have absolutely no idea that this ever happened, because they get their news from the mainstream media.  The chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at that time says that this was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred”, and yet you won’t hear about it on the big news networks.

The FBI is investigating an April attack on PG&E's Metcalf substation. Experts have warned the assault could have been a 'dress rehearsal for a larger attack'
The FBI is investigating an April attack on PG&E’s Metcalf substation. Experts have warned the assault could have been a ‘dress rehearsal for a larger attack’

If you have not heard about the attack on the Silicon Valley substation yet, you should look into it.  So much damage was done to the substation that it was closed down for a month.

The following is an excerpt from a Business Insider article about the sniper assault…

The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Smith reports that a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman is acknowledging for the first time that a group of snipers shot up a Silicon Valley substation for 19 minutes last year, knocking out 17 transformers before slipping away into the night.

The attack was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the U.S., Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, told Smith.

Evidence found at the scene included “more than 100 fingerprint-free shell casings“, and little piles of rocks “that appeared to have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.”

U.S. Navy Seals viewed the site after the incident and commented on its professional execution.  They surmised that an earlier team had gone in to situate rocks indicating the best lines of fire.  The Seals observed that the operation was performed following the type of guidelines they themselves would use in such an attack.

METCALF plant 020614According to Foreign Policy, the events surrounding this power station attack are indicative of a coordinated event. Could this have possibly been a dry run of some sort?


While all systems were restored rather quickly, the type of physical attack would make it appear that this was a terrorist attack, or a lead up to such an attack.  The account is chilling and it further proves how a fully coordinated electrical power station attack would cripple the United States.

Here are the basics of the electrical power grid attack:

Transformers were shot at over 100 times, but no serious damage was sustained, nor was anyone injured
Transformers were shot at over 100 times, but no serious damage was sustained, nor was anyone injured

Around 1:00 AM on April 16, 2013, at least one individual (possibly two) then fired more than 100 rounds from what two officials described as a high-powered rifles at  the radiators of 17 transformers at the PG&E Metcalf power substation, southeast of San Jose which supplies power to Silicon Valley. 

This particular tactic–aiming at the radiators–was employed so that the transformers wouldn’t be knocked out instantly.  Instead, as the cooling fluid gradually leaked out of the transformers, they would overheat over time, giving the perpetrators time to get away before police arrived.

Most likely, there were lookouts, as the attackers left one minute before law enforcement were on the scene.

At least one suspect cut communications cables along this highway and and another before  shooting up the substation.
At least one suspect cut communications cables along this highway and and another before shooting up the substation.

Prior to the attack, the culprits lifted a couple of heavy man hole covers to access and cut fiber optic communication cables so that no timely reporting of the incident could take place.  That knocked out some local 911 services, landline service to the substation, and cell phone service in the area, a senior U.S. intelligence official told Foreign Policy.

A car with headlights shining on the site was noticed after the attack.  There is speculation that the terrorists were observing the results of their action and the response that resulted.

Ten transformers were damaged in one area of the facility, and three transformer banks–or groups of transformers–were hit in another, according to a PG&E spokesman.

Cooling oil then leaked from a transformer bank, causing the transformers to overheat and shut down.  State regulators urged customers in the area to conserve energy over the following days, but there was no long-term damage reported at the facility and there were no major power outages.

Initially, the attack was being treated as vandalism and handled by local law enforcement,” the senior intelligence official said.  “However, investigators have been quoted in the press expressing opinions that there are indications that the timing of the attacks and target selection indicate a higher level of planning and sophistication.”

High powered rifles, cut fiber cables, and the locations that were hit prove planning.  This was a coordinated event.  There is no question that this was a test or a direct attack.  Every evidence points to a deliberate hit on this power station.  Vandalism would be messy and less organized.  This was methodical and calculated.  If power stations can be breached so easily, what does this foretell about others in the country?

The FBI has taken over the case.  There appears to have been initial concern, or at least interest, in the fact that the shooting happened one day after the Boston Marathon bombing.  Local investigators seemed to hit a dead end in June, so they released surveillance footage of the shooting.

Former Rep. Allen West , R-FL
Former Rep. Allen West , R-FL

The presumed dry-run attack against a power plant in California is part of “asymmetrical warfare” by terrorist sleeper cells that should put the nation on high alert, retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West said Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with John Bachman on Newsmax TV’s “America’s Forum,” West, a former Republican congressman from Florida, said that “sadly,” however, “it does seem that we have to be awakened by a cataclysmic event before we pay attention.”

“We have a porous, open border,” he said. “You have some bad actors coming across, but it’s not just that dry-run attack against a power plant. There are also a couple of instances in Virginia and also in the Boston area where water-supply plants, people were trying to infiltrate there as well.”

West said the attempts are “all part of asymmetrical warfare, and if we don’t start to recognize it and put a focus on it, the enemy is always going to look for the gaps by which they can exploit you.”

“They’re going to continue to press the attack, and as . . . the Iranian Revolutionary Guard general said, they’re going to get their sleeper cells in here and they’re going to be waiting for the opportunity to take action,” West said. “It doesn’t always have to be something very big.”

These were not amateurs taking potshots,” Mark Johnson, a former vice president for transmission operations at PG&E, said last month at a conference on grid security held in Philadelphia.  “My personal view is that this was a dress rehearsal” for future attacks.”

If one or two people could cause the amount of damage that occurred in California with rifles and other such weapons, imagine what a well trained militia could do. The effects could be beyond devastating, and completely life-altering.


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