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[personal profile] kirisutogomen
(some wording lifted without attribution from various sources cited below)

On April 16, 2013, one or more vandals/saboteurs/terrorists/soldiers vandalized/damaged/attacked the PG&E Metcalf transmission substation. The incident/attack/operation started at 0100/1:00 AM/in the middle of the night when the vandals/saboteurs/terrorists/mysterious attackers entered two different manholes/slipped into an underground vault and broke/cut/severed underground fiberoptic cables, knocking out some phone lines/cutting off local 911 and landline service plus some cell phone service/simultaneously disabling multiple communications and security systems. Shortly/half an hour/30 minutes later, the people/intruder(s)/attackers then shot at/opened fire on/surgically assaulted the substation itself.

The shooters damaged some transformers and put some holes in a transformer bank. Cooling fluid leaked through the holes and one transformer array automatically shut down in response. There was no long-term damage, no major power outages, and no injuries were reported. Metcalf is one of over 1500 substations in PG&E's network.

The sniper(s) fired more than 100 rounds from high-power rifle(s), disabling the cooling systems on several transformer banks and some individual extra-large transformers. Electric-grid officials were forced to conduct emergency re-routing of power. It took utility workers 27 days to rescue the substation from the aftereffects of the attack.

Police arrived at 1:50 am, but no one was arrested/before police could respond, the shooters disappeared into the night.

California Rep. Henry Waxman (D), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, mentioned the incident at a hearing on regulatory issues/called it "an unprecedented and sophisticated attack on an electric grid substation with military-style weapons."

Incident was April 16, 2013. Reporting:

December 27, 2013 Foreign Policy: "'Military-Style' Raid on California Power Station Spooks U.S."

December 29, 2013 Crooks and Liars: "FBI Investigating ‘Military-Style’ Attack On California Power Plant"

Feburary 5, 2014 Wall Street Journal: "Assault on California Power Station Raises Alarm on Potential for Terrorism"

February 5, 2014 The Atlantic: "Snipers Coordinated an Attack on the Power Grid, but Why?"

February 5, 2014 NPR: "Sniper Attack On California Power Station Raises Terrorism Fears"

February 6, 2014 IEEE Spectrum: "Attack on California Substation Fuels Grid Security Debate"

"?

Date: 2014-05-06 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mathhobbit.livejournal.com
"sophisticated"?

Re: "?

Date: 2014-05-07 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arcanology.livejournal.com
To be fair by extremist whackadoodle standards it was sophisticated in that they didn't get immediately caught and no one shot themselves (as far as we know, that might have to get rolled back). It's like how a dancing bear is sophisticated even if it doesn't dance well.

Re: "?

Date: 2014-05-07 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kirisutogomen.livejournal.com
Come on, you're not giving them enough credit. Their plan had multiple steps, and one step involved hacking up some space-age fiberoptics. That's super-duper-sophisticated. At least to a Congressman.

Re: "?

Date: 2014-05-07 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arcanology.livejournal.com
Well politicians are afraid whenever the sun rises if it will stir up the electorate. Won't someone please think of the children! It's a professional skill.

Presumably you snipe power stations when your sniping skill isn't good enough to hit your desired target of people who are different than you in some objectionable way. Stupid people, so small and moving so fast.

It's the little league of terrorism and hate. Only less cheerful than little league, though with fewer parents showing up to yell at the coach so maybe it's a wash.

Date: 2014-05-07 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredrickegerman.livejournal.com
Is there any reason to believe this wasn't drunk idiots with guns?

Date: 2014-05-07 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kirisutogomen.livejournal.com
I guess that depends on which version of the story you read.

They went to some effort to cut the fiberoptics, and they concentrated their fire heavily on the transformers. This wasn't Lex Luthor by any means, but they had a plan and an objective.

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