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Nuggets Mahoney

Snipers Attacked A Silicon Valley Power Station Last Year

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I'm not sure what to make of this one...

via sfist

Around 1 a.m. on April 16th last year, a team of attackers cut phone lines and took out 17 power transformers at a PG&E substation south of San Jose, nearly causing a blackout throughout Silicon Valley. According to the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, it was the "most significant incident of domestic terrorism" involving the nation's power grid. No one has been charged or arrested in the attack.

The Wall Street Journal, broke news of the attack today, pieced together a timeline of events that unfolded in the middle of the night, just yards from Highway 101:

The attack began just before 1 a.m. on April 16 last year, when someone slipped into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut telephone cables.

Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on a nearby electrical substation. Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley. A minute before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night.

The team of gunmen knew what they were doing in the caper too: they targeted oil-filled cooling systems that bled out until the transformers overheated and crashed rather than shooting up the explosion-prone transformers themselves. The crash triggered an alarm at a PG&E control center 90 miles away, but police on the scene around 1:51 a.m. couldn't get past a locked fence and assumed everything was fine.

Electric-grid officials, meanwhile, scrambled to avoid a blackout by re-routing power from other plants in Silicon Valley. It still took utility workers nearly a month to bring the Metcalf Transmission station back online.

Nearly a year later and FBI officials in San Francisco tell the WSJ, the Bureau doesn't think a terrorist organization was behind the attack, but they are "continuing to sift through the evidence." PG&E's official statement claimed it was the work of vandals, but made no mention of the nearly 100 fingerprint-free shell casings that were found at the scene... (continued)

My best guess is that is was a wacky team of likeable master criminals carrying out an elaborate heist (involving at least one attractive woman in a catsuit). Anyone got a better idea?

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There has been heated rows in the valley between tech companies and residents/environmental campaigners. I think Cisco has its own power station now???

There are some serious hi tech military facilities in the valley alongside 101 - I was told one of them is considered the 3 enemy nuke target in the US.

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If al Qa'ida really existed, they would hit lightly-guarded critical infrastructure targets like this all the time, not stage Bond-villain suicide missions on pointless tower blocks using jet liners.

Though, obviously, if Al-Qaeda were to attack critical targets like this they would use weaponised shampoo bottles, high tops and underpants rather than actual guns.

I am curious to know why the US Homeland Security industry didn't make a meal of this at the time though.

I genuinely hadn't considered a possible environmental angle which, fortunately, still wouldn't rule out vaguely attractive women in cat suits entirely.

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Nearly caused a power failure but didn't...

Perhaps someone in the intelligence community was giving a practical demonstration on how to cripple the US?

Did anyone hear any gunshots or were silencers used?

Out of interest how large a target are the oil cooled components? Would it take a decent shot to hit them?

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Does sound a bit like someone making a statement about how easy it is to cause actual infrastructure damage, without much in the way of fancypants 'terrorist' tactics, and get away with it relatively easily...

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Nearly caused a power failure but didn't...

Perhaps someone in the intelligence community was giving a practical demonstration on how to cripple the US?

+1

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There has been heated rows in the valley between tech companies and residents/environmental campaigners. I think Cisco has its own power station now???

There are some serious hi tech military facilities in the valley alongside 101 - I was told one of them is considered the 3 enemy nuke target in the US.

Oh hello :) Good to see you back.

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Now the flaw is now known, they will just fix it. It doesn't take much to make those specific targets bullet proof now does it.

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+1

Yes, no motive, nobody claimed they did it! :huh:

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I'm not sure what to make of this one...

via sfist

My best guess is that is was a wacky team of likeable master criminals carrying out an elaborate heist (involving at least one attractive woman in a catsuit). Anyone got a better idea?

Jack Bauer and a CTU Op? They did something similar before..

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