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An Immediate Threat?
by Mark Armstrong
with Iran Soon?
by Michael Burkert
Author Explains How Electromagnetic
Pulse Attack Can Destroy North America
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon detonated over North America’s
atmosphere could strike everything within its line of vision,
overheating vital transformers and ultimately taking out that region’s
electric grid, leaving the population vulnerable to cyber and physical
attacks and threatening the very lives of large portions the population.
The United States and Canada are apparently doing nothing to prepare for
such an attack, argues author Anthony Furey.
This month, Furey released his book Pulse Attack: The Real Story Behind
the Secret Weapon That Can Destroy North America on Amazon. The book is
the first of its kind to outline the A-Z effects of a potential EMP
attack on North America and suggests several simple ways to protect
against such a devastating scenario.
Furey is a national columnist for the Toronto Sun and a fellow at True
North Initiative, a Canada-based think tank dedicated to advancing sound
immigration and security policies.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Furey explained that his
motivation for writing Pulse Attack is to generate awareness about this
important topic and to help the public understand what this issue is. He
said such an attack, used as a piece of warfare, may disable
“I was inspired to write this book two years ago after I met with former
CIA Director Jim Woolsey, who was in Canada, to talk about the Iran
deal,” Furey said. “I had maybe just peripherally heard the phrase [EMP]
once or twice, seen it on a science fiction show and didn’t think much
of it. And then these high-profile national security people are talking
about it, and I thought, ‘Wow, why aren’t more people talking about
“Right now the issue is more urgent than ever with North Korea on the
rise and being emboldened,” Furey said. “While North Korea, as you know,
doesn’t always succeed to the level they want – some of their tests
aren’t overtly successful – they are still making progress.” He added,
“Everything they do, even if it’s a failed launch, is them learning more
information” about how to carry out an EMP attack.
Furey noted that it would be easier for North Korea to, in some
respects, develop an EMP weapon over a nuclear weapon. “An EMP weapon
requires a much smaller kiloton yield to get off the ground,” he
While much of the media reported North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests
as “failures,” it is possible these tests were actually successes, if
testing for something other than explosive ability.
North Korea threatens to wipe out the United States on a regular basis
through its state media.
An EMP attack can be caused by the sun, by a nuclear EMP (NEMP), or a
non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NNEMP).
An NEMP is an abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation that occurs as a
result of a nuclear explosion. An NNEMP is virtually the same except it
does not include the nuclear component. The currents caused by these
charges the atmosphere with electromagnetic waves that travel down onto
the earth’s surface at super speeds hitting everything within their line
of sight, sending high-voltage energy through the electricity grid and
frying them, causing massive disarray.
Furey told Breitbart News that, when these waves hit the earth’s
surface, they have the ability to take down our water filtration
systems, regional food hubs, communication networks, and the financial
industry. “We live in an increasingly fragile civilization where we rely
on electricity for absolutely everything,” he said. Such an attack could
also destroy our transformers and result in the very way we create
electricity to be taken off the grid for up to one year.
When the sun releases what is known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), it
has the same effects as an EMP attack would.
In September 1859, a geomagnetic superstorm, known as the Carrington
Event, was the first documented solar coronal mass ejection (CME) to hit
the earth’s surface. It resulted in severe storms and disruptions in the
earth’s atmosphere. The incident became known as the Carrington Event,
after an English scientist, Richard C. Carrington, who made the
Several years later, in 1989, another geomagnetic storm caused by a CME
blacked eastern Canada out for hours and inflicted billions of dollars
Then, in July 2012, one of the strongest solar storms in recorded
history, a double CME, narrowly missed Earth. Scientists have suggested
that this storm may have been stronger than the Carrington event.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, a similar storm taking
place today would result in over $2 trillion in damages; that’s 20 times
more than damage incurred from Hurricane Katrina.
In one chapter of his book, Pulse Attack, Furey described a 2013
incident that occurred at the Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s Metcalf
transmission substation in California. A group of professional gunmen
attacked the transformer station successfully shutting down access to
the grid for millions of Californians. “They did it with military
assault weapons, and they did it successfully,” Furey said. “They
disabled all the cameras. It clearly wasn’t just a disgruntled employee.
It wasn’t just a bunch of L.A. gang members. And to this day, a lot of
national security experts wonder, ‘what was the point of that attack?
Why were they going after the electricity grid? Was it a dry run for
Furey pointed out that at the very same time, North Korea had a
satellite going over the middle of the United States. And if it were
armed with an EMP weapon, it could have been “a perfect confluence of
events to take down the grid for all of North America.”
One year after the 2013 Metcalf attack took place, retired federal
regulator Jon Wellinghoff said it was “the most significant incident of
domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the
“One of the biggest points that I try to drive home in the book is that
we know enough about EMP to know that our enemies have it or are working
towards it,” Furey told Breitbart News. “We know enough about it and
that it can cause catastrophic damage to our way of life in North
America. But there are still too many unknowns about what to do about
it, how bad it will be, and what it means for us.”
Protecting North American’s electrical grid against the most devastating
consequences of an EMP disruption or attack is simple and would require,
at its most basic, a minimal amount of resources. “The solutions are
actually within reach, and they are easy,” Furey noted. As little as 8
cents per month (less than $1 per year) charged to each residential
electricity consumer over the course of five years could be enough to
provide the basic national safeguards for our electric grid.
The GRID Act and SHIELD Act have been sitting in both the House and
Senate. Unfortunately, powerful special interest groups have lobbied
against this funding solution to an entirely non-partisan issue.
“The energy and electricity lobby is incredibly weary of this because it
does mean a bit more regulation,” Furey explained. “It does mean that
they will be told that they will have to investigate this subject more
and insulate the grid from electromagnetic pulse attacks and they simply
don’t want the regulation. They don’t want the legislation.” He said,
“As an advocate of smaller government values, I can appreciate what
they’re getting at there.” But he noted that government still has a
small role to play in society and part of that is “making sure people
can’t destroy our civilization with one single weapon.”
However, Furey noted that it is possible for states to take the onus of
protecting their energy grids upon themselves. “It doesn’t need to
happen through federal legislation. It can happen through state
legislation in America and provincial legislation here, in Canada.”
Furey ultimately emphasized the importance of informing the public about
this very real threat to North America’s national security. “Can you
imagine if back during the Cold War the U.S. and allies did absolutely
nothing to protect against general nuclear warfare?” he posited. “There
would be a massive scandal. There would be a crisis of confidence in how
the citizenry views their government. Exactly the same thing is
happening right now.”
Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for
Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.