Within hours of the Osama Bin Laden raid coming to light, we began reading headlines that Al Queda would prepare revenge attacks. One such headline reported that Wikileaks had previously released a document indicating that the killing of Osama Bin Laden would lead to a nuclear response on the West, likely targeting Europe. However, as we pointed out in previous stories, namely this one in which the San Diego Port director admitted a nuclear device had been found entering the United States, the southern border of the United States is such a high security risk that smuggling a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon onto US soil cannot be discounted.
Assuming that a nuclear weapon was smuggled into the US, perhaps from suitcase bombs leftover from the former Soviet Union or even dirty bombs built to order by underworld physicists, what US city would a terrorist organization target?
Would it be a symbolic target like the World Trade Center towers? What about major population centers – the largest of which are New York and Los Angeles? Or how about our government infrastructure in Washington D.C.?
With so many available targets spread throughout the U.S., we read with great interest John Galt’s recent article How To Kill America in 30 Seconds Or Less, portions of which we’ve excerpted below:
By using deductive reasoning is it not a major reach nor requirement to develop an extravagant conspiracy theory to assume that it is possible that one or more of the nuclear devices have escaped their oversight and control. That begs the question then; if Al Qaeda has studied the various documents about nuclear attack scenarios on U.S. soil provided by FEMA, the Department of Defense, and other agencies over the years, what location would cripple America for decades and kill our nation in thirty seconds or less?
I have borrowed the map from Shane Connor’s KI4U.com website where the discussion about the impact points for various nuclear attacks was mapped out by FEMA years ago and he was kind enough to place them on his website for reference for every state. The inset that I inserted displays the one choke point, the one central location where a nuclear attack with a 10 kt yield or higher would bring kill America as we know it in less than thirty seconds.
Note the location, as the terrorists already have, of our petrochemical, refining, and other oil facilities in the Houston area. A detonation in the Deer Park area just southeast of the city destroying several large refineries, storage facilities, and natural gas electrical generation sites. The problem after the initial explosion beyond the immediate fatalities, panic initiated in one of America’s largest cities, contamination, and destruction of infrastructure is the spread of radioactive debris or fallout. The following excerpt from the Trinity Atomic Web Site article The Effects of Nuclear Weapons from 1977 tells the story why a terrorist attack using a surface or low altitude explosion would cause even greater problems beyond that region (from Chapter II):
2.19 An important difference between a surface burst and an air burst is, consequently, that in the surface burst the radioactive cloud is much more heavily loaded with debris. This consists of particles ranging in size from the very small ones produced by condensation as the fireball cools to the much larger debris particles which have been raised by the afterwinds. The exact composition of the cloud will, of course, depend on the nature of the surface materials and the extent of their contact with the fireball.
The emphasis highlighted in the above statement is my own and for this reason:
Thanks again to Shane Connor and KI4U.com for the information and maps.
I created the inset map to highlight the regions that would be impacted the greatest by a nuclear event in the Houston, Texas energy complex region. The fallout from a surface explosion based on the prevailing winds in the early autumn assuming a cold front is dropping from the north. The contamination for a small device would not be as widespread as the map displays but the terror to civilians would be palpable and create massive refugee flows away from coastal regions in the projected impact zones. Unfortunately the areas most likely areas to receive a measurable threat from a sub 100 kiloton detonation would be more of the primary oil production and processing facilities from Beaumont, TX and coastal platforms through southern Louisiana, again depending on the upper level wind patterns at that time. Thus not only would a sizable percentage of our refining capacity be impacted directly in the blast zone, other areas would be temporarily unusable until the radiation levels decreased sufficiently for clean up and civilians were assured that they could work in those areas safely and returned.
This type of attack would remove close to thirty percent of our refining capacity not to mention an emergency evacuation of our platforms off the coast of that region, the shutting down of one of our most important military and commercial seaports, and the cessation of a large percentage of the oil and gas via pipelines originating from this region into the Midwest, Northeast, and South regions of the country. The United States economy would fall immediately into a depression, the dollar would collapse overnight, rationing of energy and foodstuffs would become a fact of life, and large quantities of our troops overseas would have to be recalled home to help maintain law and order.
Shortly after the news of the recent raid in Pakistan came to light, we immediately went on SHTF alert – just in case. These types of events tend to lead to serious consequences, so we figured it’s better to be safe than sorry.
After reading John Galt’s assessment above, considering that we live (for a short-while longer before we head for the boonies in the mountains) in the Houston metroplex and roughly 40 minutes from the Deer Park target area described, we have double-checked our primary and secondary bug-out location maps and work arounds, re-checked our bug out bags, and conversed with our SHTF response group, just in case.
America is a target, now more than ever. There are a lot of people and countries who would benefit from a nuclear attack on our nation, and we are not taking their desire to destroy our way of life lightly.
There are roughly 40 major metropolitan areas in the United States. Let’s assume, for demonstration purposes, that the threat of a nuclear attack is imminent. If you live in one of those major cities, your odds are 1 in 40 that you and your family will be a target. Not very favorable if you ask us.
If you are able to survive the initial blast of such an attack (or even a biological or chemical attack), are you confident that you can get out of town in time before the fallout spreads? You may literally only have minutes to act before the rest of the city dwellers in your area peel themselves away from their televisions and start evacuating, so you should have your evacuation plan, which includes everything from what you’re packing up to the roads you’ll take, ready to go. And, assume that you will never be able to return home again.
In August of 2001, Drudgereport.com ran a story warning of imminent attacks against US domestic targets. The story disappeared within a day or two. This is the same warning that Condoleezza Rice admits was given to President George Bush at around the same time (though his warning may have been much more detailed). We all know what happened the following month.
We’re not suggesting that you panic. But we are suggesting that you stay on alert. The United States just reportedly killed the leader of the global jihad movement – unequivocally the most important symbolic figurehead for radical extremist followers of Islam. There will be repercussions – that is all but guaranteed. Be ready to move with supplies in tow if a disaster happens in your area, know where you’re going, and keep your mind flexible.