12 June 2015
Captain Paul Norton
Reston District Police Station
1437 Balls Hill Road
McLean, VA 22102
Dear Captain Norton:
Thank you and your officers for the difficult work you do in providing a safe environment for the citizens in Great Falls and McLean. Included with this letter are some treats for your officers to give them something tangible to know they are appreciated.
I am concerned that the safety environment could get worse in many ways. One is the breakdown of civilized behavior, described in the recent column by Dr. Thomas Sowell.
Unfortunately President Obama and his administration are in denial about the violent Moslem threat. The FBI has even removed analyses of Islam from its training. Some commentators have said we need to understand what motivates people to fight for the Islamic State. I think the threat and motivation are easy to understand. While I was in India with the State Department I spent every Saturday for three years with the Imam of the largest mosque in India studying Arabic, Urdu and Farsi and discussing Islamic issues. I have lived or worked in or visited almost every Moslem country over decades. I have copies of the Koran in three languages and a large number of books on the Koran and Islam.
The motivations for potential fighters are:
Another key potential problem is the failure of the electrical system. I have spent many decades in the energy field, including the nuclear industry. I was manager of operations for Iraq's reconstruction of oil, gas and electricity in Baghdad with a Top Secret clearance. As you know, the cyber war by the Chinese, Russians, Islamists and North Koreans not only hit parts of the Federal government, but also banks and commercial firms.
The February 2015 issue of the electrical trade magazine Power Grid reported: "User authentication credentials were stolen, along with schematics and other data about the utility networks. The perpetrators are thought to range from foreign state-sanctioned actors to terrorists, criminal hackers or even curious software experts."
Power Grid further reported: "For instance, in recent years, [the industry] has faced advanced state-sponsored campaigns like Black Energy, Energetic Bear, Mirage and Night Dragon, as well as numerous ongoing campaigns by China's PLA Unit 61398. The industry is not adjusting its cyber defenses to manage these threats better. A recent Ponemon Institute report found that only 28% of energy utility and manufacturers say security is a top priority and 83% say their company has not achieved a mature lever of cybersecurity."
The primary concern is for stopping electrical supply, known in the industry of Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS). If the time period of electricity cut-off is more than week, you are likely to be faced with riots and the need to safeguard food and drug supplies. I put my money where my mouth is and installed a large generator at my house.
The worst case is an atomic attack high in the atmosphere that could create an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) that knocks out essentially all the electric grid. This has been described in many government reports that note that within a year 90% of residents on the east coast would be dead. The former head of the CIA, James Woolsey, has described the problem on TV and in public meetings. He has commented we are a nation of ostriches with our heads in the sand. There's not much you can do about this, except to suggest your officers Google the subject and read the book One Second After. You may find it useful to discuss this with Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is an expert on EMP.
You may know all this. If you are interested in more information on any of these subjects please call me to discuss any aspects. I have available my brief Power Point slides on the background of Islamist threats if you and your officers would like to see them. The information goes beyond the superficial coverage in the media.
Please be assured many of us support you and your officers. Best wishes for continuing to provide safety for the public.
Thomas L. Cranmer
First VP, Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance
Photojournalism Editor, Fairfax Free Citizen