Terrorists Target Power GridsOn Sunday, jihadists attacked a main power line in Pakistani Balochistan’s Naseerabad district. As a result, 140 million Pakistanis were left in the dark and two nuclear power plants were knocked off line. This is but the latest incident in which hostile forces used sabotage to take down parts of an electrical infrastructure. Others include: In the early hours of the morning on April 16, 2013, a highly professional commando-style assault took place on Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf substation near San Jose, California. As many as twenty-one effectively irreplaceable high-voltage transformers were very nearly destroyed. Had that occurred, Silicon Valley and much of the San Francisco Bay area could have been without power for protracted periods, possibly for years. The yet-to-be-identified attackers got away and must be assumed to be still at large. On October 27, 2013, the Knights Templar drug gang struck and disrupted the grid of Mexico’s Michoacan State. On June 9, 2014, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) used mortars and rockets to attack the national grid of Yemen by destroying transmission towers. It was the first time that a terrorist attack resulted in an entire country being blacked-out. In addition, there have been a number of incidents in which hackers believed to be associated with Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran have demonstrated the capability to use cyber techniques to penetrate and potentially to exercise destructive control over critical infrastructures like electric grids. In addition, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) has observed that a recently translated Iranian doctrinal statement makes reference in twenty different places to the use of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to attack that nation’s enemies. The Russians, Chinese, and North Koreans similarly regard EMP as simply a type of cyberwarfare, to be employed offensively against their enemies, including this country. More