There are new details concerning the sniper attack on a San Jose electric substation– the day after the Boston Marathon bombings– that strengthen the argument that this may have been a methodically planned attack of the worst kind. Although the FBI has not labeled the attack an act of terrorism, facts are emerging that provide a convincing case that this may have not been just a case of misguided high-jinks committed by partiers while out of a night on the town. The FBI does not believe it was domestic or international terrorists who engaged in the attack, according to FBI spokesman Peter Lee, who notes that the case is still under investigation and no one has been arrested. Others are not so sure.
“This wasn’t an incident where Billy-Bob and Joe decided, after a few brewskies, to come in and shoot up a substation,” Mark Johnson, a retired PG&E vice president was quoted as saying. “This was an event that was well thought out, well planned and they targeted certain components,” according to The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. “My personal view is that this was a dress rehearsal” for future attacks,” added Johnson. Foreign Policy reported that the former PG&E vice president for transmission operations also said at a conference last November that “these were not amateurs taking potshots.” Read the rest of the article here.
NPR also weighs in on the Journal’s story:
The attack at the electricity transmission substation — located next to the Metcalf power plant — happened shortly before 2 a.m. on April 16 last year, when one or more individuals took up positions along Coyote Ranch Road and “began shooting rounds at the equipment, according to a California Public Utilities Commission report. Reportedly firing bullets like those used by AK-47s — an assault weapon favored by terrorists — they blasted 17 transformers and 6 circuit breakers, and caused $15.4 million in damage. Read the rest of the story here.
Again, here are the facts, as reported:
- Six telephone lines, in an underground vault, were cut with-in half an hour of the attack.
- The perpetrator(s) methodically fired bullets from assault weapons favored by terrorists.
- Small piles of rocks were discovered which may have been placed there earlier to mark prime firing positions.
- More than 100 fingerprint-free shell cases were found in the area.
- 17 transformers and 6 transformers were blasted, causing $15.4 million in damage.
- The attack is not considered domestic terrorism by the FBI.