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To avoid a blackout, electric-grid officials rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity. The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn’t think a terrorist organization caused the Metcalf attack, said a spokesman for the FBI in San Francisco.
A spokesman for PG&E said the company takes all incidents seriously but declined to discuss the Metcalf event in detail for fear of giving information to potential copycats. About six minutes after the shooting started, PG&E confirms, it got an alarm from motion sensors at the substation, possibly from bullets grazing the fence, which is shown on video. Five minutes later, another apparent flashlight signal, caught on film, marked the end of the attack.
There is, of course, no evidence to indicate that this attack was connected to either domestic or international terrorism of any kind, but the nature of the attack as described in the chronologies that have come out suggests that it was far more than, as one person quoted above put it, just a couple of drunk guys who went out one night and decided to fire guns at a substation for kicks. In the end, this one attack at one electrical substation caused only minor disruptions to the electrical grid. I guess a power grid substation station shoot-up in Silicon Valley just isn’t exciting enough?
Reminds me of a time at least 20 years ago when I was working in the land line telephone industry. I do not know if there was any investigation into the incident but it was pretty clear that whoever commited this act knew exactly what they were doing.
I suspect that this went from local law enforcement to a higher level of investigation because of the implication of what the crime could have been – terrorism.
When I was still working in the telephone industry, companies like AT+T, Level 3 Communications and PG+E had their own internal security forces that would investigate all kinds of matters. This sounds like something more mundane, like a prank or preparation for a heist of some kind.
In fact attention is capricious, and something that was on some minor web page can suddenly become a hot issue much later. Yet another example of how all our war-words tend to be French, even as we denigrate French military prowess.
This almost sounds like a red team went a little too far, however, we’ll never know (except for conspiracy specialists). Overall this points up the vulnerability of the electrical grid system in this country: at risk of attacks, solar storms, and just breakdown because of age.
As I say, I saw the story, and running a Google search with a time filter a see more than 1 or 2 reports last year. This brings back fond memories of the anti-draft, anti-war riots of May 1970 at Sleepytown U. Two weeks of anarchy and bedlam that began a day or so after government troops shot dead 4 unarmed students at Kent State. An emergency ordinance was passed that declared that more than two people standing together on the sidewalk constituted a mob. What would you have the cops say when they believe there was no way one guy could have done something? The lack of fingerprints combined with the precision in the cutting of communications and the timing of the attack leads me to believe we’re dealing with a militia style of group. It would have taken more than one person to lift the metal vault cover, said people who visited the site. DAILY NEWS New York News Politics Sports Entertainment Opinion Living Autos Search U.S.


Energy bosses think 2013 sniper attack on a California electrical substation was terrorism Lawmakers believe the April 2013 attack on the Pacific Gas & Electric's Metcalf transmission substation in San Jose, Calif. Was a sniper attack on a central California electrical substation last year the work of terrorists?
That's the theory being examined by energy bosses who had to deal with the aftermath of the incident, which saw telephone cables cut and 17 transformers knocked out. Electric officials battled to keep the lights on after the 52-minute assault on the Pacific Gas & Electric's Metcalf transmission substation in San Jose on April 16, 2013. Newly reported details have now raised questions, from Capitol Hill and beyond, over whether terrorists were to blame. He said fingerprints could not be found on the shell casings and there was evidence that the shooting positions had been pre-arranged. No-one has ever been arrested over the attack, and the FBI has suggested it does not agree with the terrorist theory. COLD CASES & TRUE CRIME Justice Story: Dana Sue Gray A PECULIAR ITEM recently came up for sale on a website that caters to people who collect things created, owned, or even just touched by murderers. Justice Story: John du Pont The 1856 British Guiana one-cent magenta is a tiny octagonal red inch-wide stamp. Was an attack last April on an electric power station near San Jose, Calif., the work of vandals or something far more dangerous — domestic terrorism or a trial run by an individual or organization bent on damaging the nation's electric grid?
Newly reported details about a 52-minute sniper attack on a central California electrical substation last year are raising concerns from Capitol Hill and beyond, amid questions over whether it was the work of terrorists.
The April 16, 2013, attack had not been widely publicized until The Wall Street Journal reported new details in a story on Wednesday. The FBI doesn’t think the incident was a terror attack, an agency spokesman told the Journal. Wellinghoff, who spoke to the Journal, based his conclusion that this was terrorism on the analysis of experts he brought to the crime scene.
Wellinghoff went public with the story after briefing federal agencies, Congress and the White House, citing national security concerns and fear that electric-grid sites don’t have adequate protection. In addition, retired PG&E executive Mark Johnson said at an industry gathering a few months ago that he feared the attack was a dress rehearsal for a larger event, according to the Journal. She said utility companies have been able to prevent such attacks in large part because they share information with related parties.
However, she also said the meeting, which covered a broad range of topics, concluded with a commitment from executives to keep the senators better informed and a desire for additional legislation to legally protect those who share information about issues like attacks and disaster preparation. Though the attack on the San Jose substation didn’t cause a blackout, isolated incidents have in fact caused major problems on the U.S.
In 2003, for example, downed trees toppled transmission lines, creating a series of blackouts across Canada and the eastern U.S. Security for the grid has long been a concern for government and the utility industry, but most recently the focus has been on the risk of cyber attacks.
The article is reproduced in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley.
Whoever carried this out seems to have some knowledge of exactly what they were doing, including what steps would be necessary to cause at least some level of disruption to the power and communications grids. Why it is now (today) a prominent news item rather than 10 months ago, is not clear to me at all.


The fact that 150 something rounds were fire in a short time at multiple targets is another.
I think it unlikely the cops would tell the press they are convinced it was more than one unless they were pretty darn sure about it.
Bush appointee said his conclusion came from the analysis of experts investigating the crime scene.
Philatelic experts say that when it is auctioned at Sothebya€™s in New York on June 17, this singular postal artifact is expected to fetch something around $20 million, the largest price ever paid for a stamp. However, Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, disagrees. Bush appointee, called it “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the U.S. But the Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee said Wednesday that lawmakers continue to follow the probe and that protecting the grid remains a top priority. Bush appointee, called it “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the U.S. 7 letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. But one former federal regulator is calling it a terrorist act that, if it were widely replicated across the country, could take down the U.S. These began to bleed oil, but didn’t explode, as the transformers probably would have done if hit in other areas. This could indicate terrorism of some kind, but of course it could also indicate that the attack was carried out by someone who had inside knowledge about the substation and a grievance against PG&E, perhaps a former employee.
It is time to form a study committee to plan to refit, upgrade, modernize, and secure our electrical grid.
I’ve known since before then that our electrical grid is barely stable at some periods of the year and in certain areas. The fact that the police apparently have no leads at all, though, including apparently not even being able to find partial fingerprints on shell casings, indicates that whoever carried out the attack did so with sufficient pre-planning to prevent easy discovery. We really don’t know, and until the mystery is solved it strikes me that we ought be thinking about the vulnerability of the electrical grid a lot more than we are right now.
This would take a major cooperative effort of the government, utilities, industry, business, and the military.
That problem should of been abundantly clear when the great blackouts occurred thanks to relatively minor problems that snowballed out of control. It would be a long term project on the scope and size of the interstate highway system, the Panama Canal, and the space exploration.
The one mystery, though, is the apparent lack of any claim of responsibility or follow-up attack. Right now, all we know is that sometime about ten months ago a group of people carried out this attack and were able to sneak away without being discovered, and the mystery itself is arguably a cause for concern.



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