A group of individuals with sniper rifles disabled 17 giant transformers in Silicon Valley in April — an attack labeled as “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred.”
No one has been charged with the April 16 attack on PG&E Corp.’s PCG Metcalf transmission substation, which suffered almost a month’s work of damage, according to the Wall Street Journal.
For almost 20 minutes, the snipers took out the grid before disappearing into the darkness.
“This wasn’t an incident where Billy Bob and Joe decided after a few brewskis to come in and shoot up a substation,” Mark Johnson, retired vice president of transmission for PG&E, told a utility security conference, the Journal reported. “This was an event that was well-thought out, well-planned and they targeted certain components.”
Rich Lordan, senior technical executive for the Electric Power Research Institute, told the Journal the “breadth and depth of the attack was unprecedented” and that it ‘“appears to be preparation for an act of war.”
AT&T has offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible, NPR reported.
An FBI spokesman told the Journal it was still investigating but does not believe the attack was the work of a terrorist organization.
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