[extropy-chat] EMP Attack?

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Sun Apr 17 17:02:30 UTC 2005

--- Mike Lorrey <mlorrey at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- Olga Bourlin <fauxever at sprynet.com> wrote:
> > The Sept. 11 commission report stated that our biggest failure was
> > one of "imagination." No one imagined that terrorists would do what
> > they did on Sept. 11. 
> Actually, this is wrong. There was specifically a rather extensive US
> Army study and exercise conducted in 1978 that looked specifically at
> terrorists flying airliners into the world trade center.

Nit: 20+ year old studies do not necessarily reflect modern thinking.
Certainly, it is possible that no one was thinking the particular
terrorist organizations we were facing in 2001 would do such a thing.

> Actually, I would be more concerned about terrorists constructing
> high
> explosive triggered EMP weapons (not nukes) near government,
> financial,
> and technology centers. Think about what fun it would be if most
> electronic government records suddenly got wiped....

In theory, military and high-level government systems are shielded
against EMP attacks (by virtue of being shielded against surveillance
systems that take advantage of similar effects, but at much lower
power).  In practice, even if this shielding is strong enough to stand
up to EMP attacks, it's only on government systems.  What would happen
if, say, one were to detonate one on Wall Street just outside the NYSE?
Just park a specially prepared car in whatever nearby spot you can
find, set the timer, and walk away.  (Given typical parking conditions,
setting the timer to a few hours may be less due to time to get away,
and more due to arriving early enough to get a close parking spot while
still having it go off after the market opens.)

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list