Reporting on the attack on the San Jose electrical substation in April of last year, the San Francisco Chronicle debates today whether or not the attack was terrorism or not:
In December, during an oversight hearing, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., described “an unprecedented and sophisticated attack on an electric grid substation with military-style weapons. Communications were disrupted. The attack inflicted substantial damage.”
He said he would withhold details of the incident to avoid harming the investigation but added he had been in touch with the FBI about it.
Last April, a day after the Boston Marathon bombings, millions of people in Santa Clara County were asked to conserve energy after power lines were damaged.
At a news conference later that day, Sheriff Laurie Smith said someone had lifted heavy manhole covers at about 1:30 a.m. in two places on Monterey Highway south of San Jose, climbed under the road, and cut AT&T fiber optic cables, temporarily knocking out 911 service and phone service.
About 15 minutes later, someone fired a high-powered rifle into a nearby PG&E substation, damaging at least five transformers and causing an oil leak, she said.
“We believe that the perpetrator or perpetrators were familiar with the systems,” she said then. “They knew where to go for the fiber-optic. They knew where to cut. They also were able to take out some very, very critical parts of the PG&E substation.”
She said the attacks could be described as “sabotage.”
The Chronicle’s article today is titled, “Former federal official: Attack was terrorism.” But as long as America’s electrical grid is attacked by federal officials who are merely ex-colleagues of former terrorists (one of whom was the son of a former Commonwealth Edison CEO, to boot), the paper seems to be pretty cool with the notion. Or at the least, it isn’t shocking to the Chronicle when a federal official tells the newspaper he’ll bankrupt electric providers and that consumers’ “electrical rates will necessarily skyrocket” as a result: