ISIS terrorists pose an “imminent” threat to the U.S. electric grid with the capacity to coordinate a devastating assault on our nation’s infrastructure, warned a leading homeland security and terrorism expert in a radio interview Sunday.
Dr. Peter Pry, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards. He also served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, and the House Armed Services Committee.
“There is an imminent threat from ISIS to the national electric grid and not just to a single U.S. city,” said Pry.
Pry was speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s AM 970 The Answer.
Outlining the threat, Pry recalled a leaked U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report divulged this past March that coordinated terrorist attacks on just nine of the nation’s 55,000 electrical power substations could provoke coast-to-coast blackouts for up to 18 months.
Such an attack would mirror the devastating impact of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack without the need for any nuclear device or delivery system.
The congressional EMP Commission previously estimated that within 12 months of a nationwide blackout, upwards of 90 percent of the U.S. population could possibly die from disease, lack of food and resources and larger societal breakdown.
Speaking to Klein’s audience, Pry pointed specifically to the possibility of ISIS immediately hiring Mexican extremists such as the Knights Templar drug cartel, which last year successfully utilized guns and Molotov cocktails to attack numerous Mexican power stations, leaving 11 towns without electricity.
“Now those guys are just across our southern border,” stated Pry.
Pry continued: “That means that ISIS doesn’t have to actually come to the United States on those U.S. passports. You know, Obama is always talking about how he’s got a phone. Well, ISIS has got a telephone, too. All they’ve got to do is contact the Knights Templar, wire these guys $10 million, I mean they’ll do anything for money. And say, ‘Hey, go across that open U.S. border and take out the electric grid in Arizona, or New Mexico, or Minnesota or New York. Or the entire nation.'”
Pry surmised such an attack on the U.S. power grid “wouldn’t be difficult for them.”
“There are … open-source computer models where you can figure out which are those nine critical transformer substations where if attacked would take down the whole national power grid,” he said.
“So something like that could be arranged. It could happen tomorrow. It could happen next week.”
Pry pointed out ISIS allies in al-Qaida last June attacked power lines in Yemen that left the entire nation without power for a day.
He took issue with a statement last week from former deputy director of the CIA Mike Morell who said it would take ISIS two to three years to develop the capacity to carry out a 9/11-style attack.
Morell stated that “over the long term β two and a half, three years β we need to worry about a 9/11-style attack by ISIS.”
Countered Pry: “I don’t think that’s true at all. You know, because they can hire these criminal gangs that are south of our porous border. Or criminal gangs that are already present here.”
“We also have Muslim terror cells already in this country that would be willing to do anything for money and it’s very easy to attack the electrical grid,” he added.
Pry also warned of rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea passing ISIS a nuclear device and delivery system, such as a SCUD missile, to launch an actual EMP attack.