Editor's note: This report originates in Joseph Farah's
G2 Bulletin, an online, subscription intelligence news
service from the creator of WorldNetDaily.com a
journalist who has been developing sources around the
world for almost 30 years. The annual subscription price
for the premium newsletter has been slashed in half and
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2005 WorldNetDaily. com
WASHINGTON Joining Sen. John Kyl, who earlier warned of
how an electromagnetic pulse attack threatens U. S.
survival, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, chairman of the House
Projection Forces Subcommittee, says an EMP attack even
by an underfunded, unsophisticated terrorist group has
the potential to cripple U. S. society and kill
"Today we are very much concerned ... about asymmetric
weapons," Bartlett told his colleagues. "We are a big,
powerful country. Nobody can contend with us
shoulder-to-shoulder, face-to-face. So all of our
potential adversaries are looking for what we refer to as
asymmetric weapons. That is a weapon that overcomes our
superior capabilities. There is no asymmetric weapon that
has anywhere near the potential of EMP."
EMP attacks are generated when a nuclear weapon is
detonated at altitudes above a few dozen kilometers above
the Earth's surface. The explosion, of even a small
nuclear warhead, would produce a set of electromagnetic
pulses that interact with the Earth's atmosphere and the
Earth's magnetic field.
Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin first reported the shocking
findings of the U. S. EMP commission that rogue nations,
such as Iran and North Korea, have the capability of
launching an undetected, catastrophic EMP attack on the
U. S. and are actively developing plans.
"These electromagnetic pulses propagate from the burst
point of the nuclear weapon to the line of sight on the
Earth's horizon, potentially covering a vast geographic
region in doing so simultaneously, moreover, at the speed
of light," said Dr. Lowell Wood, acting chairman of the
commission appointed by Congress to study the threat.
"For example, a nuclear weapon detonated at an altitude
of 400 kilometers over the central United States would
cover, with its primary electromagnetic pulse, the entire
continent of the United States and parts of Canada and
The commission, in its work over a period of several
years, found that EMP is one of a small number of threats
that has the potential to hold American society seriously
at risk and that might also result in the defeat of U. S.
electromagnetic field pulses produced by weapons designed
and deployed with the intent to produceEMPhave a high
likelihood of damaging electrical power systems,
electronics and information systems upon which any
reasonably advanced society, most specifically including
our own, depend vitally," Wood said. "Their effects on
systems and infrastructures dependent on electricity and
electronics could be sufficiently ruinous as to qualify
as catastrophic to the American nation."
The commission concluded in its report to Congress
earlier this year: "EMP is one of a small number of
threats that may hold at risk the continued existence of
today's U. S. civil society.''
"The number of U. S. adversaries capable of EMP attack is
greater than during the Cold War," said Bartlett. "We may
look back with some fondness on the Cold War. We then had
only one potential adversary. We knew him quite
Bartlett pointed out that Iran has tested launching of a
Scud missile from a surface vessel, "a launch mode that
could support a national or transnational EMP attack
against the United States."
conducted tests with its Shahab-3 missile that have been
described as failures by the Western media because the
missiles did not complete their ballistic trajectories,
but were deliberately exploded at high altitude," he
said. "This, of course, would be exactly what you would
want to do if you were going to use anEMPweapon. Iran
described these tests as successful. We said they were a
failure because they blew up in flight. They described
them as successful. Of course, they would be, if Iran's
intent was practicing for anEMPattack."
Bartlett added: "Potential adversaries are aware of the
EMP's strategic attack option. Ninety-nine percent of
Americans may not know very much about EMP, but I will
assure you ... that 100 percent of our potential enemies
know all about EMP. I think that the American people need
to know about EMP because they need to demand that their
government do the prudent thing so that we will be less
and less susceptible, less and less at risk to an EMP
attack year by year. The threat is not adequately
addressed in U. S. national and homeland security
programs. Not only is it not adequately addressed; it is
usually ignored, not even mentioned, and it certainly
needs to be considered."
"Terrorists could steal, purchase, or be provided a
nuclear weapon and perform an EMP attack against the
United States simply by launching a primitive Scud
missile off a freighter near our shores," he said. "We do
not need to be thinking about missiles coming over the
pole. There are thousands of ships out there,
particularly in the North Atlantic shipping lanes, and
any one of them could have a Scud missile on board. If
you put a canvas over it, we cannot see through the
thinnest canvas. We would not know whether it was bailed
hay or bananas or a Scud launcher. You cannot see through
any cover on ship. Scud missiles can be purchased on the
world market today for less than $100,000. Al-Qaida is
estimated to own about 80 freighters, so all they need,
... is $100,000, which I am sure they can get, for the
missile and a crude nuclear weapon."
Bartlett revealed Russian, Chinese, and Pakistani
scientists are working in North Korea and could enable
that country to develop an EMP weapon in the near
The congressman also raised the question of retaliation
and how an EMP sneak attack could not only go undetected,
but that it might be impossible to find out who was
responsible after the fact.
"If it were launched from the ocean, we would not know
who launched it," he said. "So against whom would we
retaliate? Even if we knew who launched it ... if all
they have done is to disable our computers, do we respond
in kind, or do you incinerate their grandmothers and
their babies? This would be a really tough call.
Responding in kind might do very little good. There is no
other country in the world that has anything like our
sophistication in electronic equipment, and no other
country in the world is so dependent as we are on our
Yet, over time, an EMP attack would likely result in much
more death than a nuclear attack on a major city, he
"Can you imagine
our country ... with 285 million people, no electricity,
and there will be no electricity, no transportation, no
communication?" he asked. "The only way you can go
anywhere is to walk, and the only person you can talk to
is the person next to you. What would we do? How many of
our people might not survive the transition from that
situation to where you had established a sort of
infrastructure that could support civil society as we
know it today."
An EMP attack is far more dangerous to the West than it
is to other less technologically developed countries, he
Russian officers have told U. S. officials, Bartlett
said, that the knowledge and technology to develop what
they called super-EMP weapons had been transferred to
North Korea and that the rogue state could probably
develop these weapons in the near future, within a few
EMP, he warned, can cause catastrophic damage to the
nation by destroying the electric power infrastructure,
causing cascading failures in the infrastructure for
everything: telecommunications, energy, transportation,
finance, food, and water.
Bartlett is urging a major national commitment to
preparing for such an attack, which, he said, would not
be nearly as costly as might be expected.
"Every new water system we put in, every new sewage
system we put in, every new power line we run, every new
distribution system we put in needs to be hardened," he
explained. "It is not all that expensive to do. You just
need to do it."