potential adversaries have the capability to attack the United States and Israel
with a highaltitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse, and
others appear to be pursuing efforts to obtain that capability. A
determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without
having a high level of sophistication. For example, an adversary would
not have to have long-range ballistic missiles to conduct an EMP attack
against the United States and Israel. Such an attack could be launched from a
freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range
missile to loft a nuclear warhead to high-altitude. Terrorists
sponsored by a rogue state could attempt to execute such an attack
without revealing the identity of the perpetrators. Iran, the world’s
leading sponsor of international terrorism, has practiced launching a
mobile ballistic missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea (to U. S.) and in the Mediterranean Sea (to Israel). Iran has
also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode
consistent with EMP attack, and described the tests as successful.
Iranian military writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that
would gravely harm the United States. Certain types of relatively
low-yield nuclear weapons can be employed to generate potentially
catastrophic EMP effects over wide geographic areas, and designs for
variants of such weapons may have been illicitly trafficked for a
quarter-century. Recently, as reported in the press, United Nations
investigators found that the design for an advanced nuclear weapon,
miniaturized to fit on ballistic missiles currently in the inventory of
Iran, North Korea, and other potentially hostile states.
Iran, though not yet a nuclear weapon state, has produced some analysis weighing the use of nuclear weapons to destroy cities, as “against Japan in World War II,” compared to “information warfare” that includes “electromagnetic pulse...for the destruction of unprotected circuits.” An Iranian analyst describes “terrorist information warfare” as involving not just computer viruses but attacks using “electromagnetic pulse (EMP).” (Tehran, Siyasat-e Defa-I, 1 March 2001) An Iranian political-military journal, in an article entitled “Electronics To Determine Fate Of Future Wars,” suggests that the key to defeating the United States is EMP attack: “Advanced information technology equipment exists which has a very high degree of efficiency in warfare. Among these we can refer to communication and information gathering satellites, pilotless planes, and the digital system....Once you confuse the enemy communication network you can also disrupt the work of the enemy command and decision-making center. Even worse, today when you disable a country’s military high command through disruption of communications you will, in effect, disrupt all the affairs of that country... If the world’s industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronic assaults, then they will disintegrate within a few years....American soldiers would not be able to find food to eat nor would they be able to fire a single shot.” (Tehran, Nashriyeh-e Siasi Nezami, December 1998 -January 1999) Iranian flight-tests of their Shahab-3 medium-range missile, that can reach Israel and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, have in recent years involved several explosions at high altitude, reportedly triggered by a self-destruct mechanism on the missile. The Western press has described these flight-tests as failures, because the missiles did not complete their ballistic trajectories. Iran has officially described all of these same tests as successful. The flight-tests would be successful, if Iran were practicing the execution of an EMP attack. Iran, as noted earlier, has also successfully tested firing a missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea. A nuclear missile concealed in the hold of a freighter would give Iran, or terrorists, the capability to perform an EMP attack against the United States homeland, without developing an ICBM, and with some prospect of remaining anonymous. Iran’s Shahab-3 medium-range missile, mentioned earlier, is a mobile missile, and small enough to be transported in the hold of a freighter.
is in tight cooperation with North Korea. In 2004, the EMP Commission
met with very senior Russian military officers, who are experts on EMP
weapons. They warned that Russian scientists had been recruited by
Pyongyang to work on the North Korean nuclear weapons program. They
further warned that the knowledge and technology to develop “Super-EMP”
weapons had been transferred to North Korea, and that North Korea could
probably develop these weapons in the near future, within a few years.
The Russian officers said that the threat to global security that would
be posed by a North Korea armed with “Super-EMP” weapons is
unacceptable. The senior Russian military officers, who claimed to be
expressing their personal views to the EMP Commission, said that, while
the Kremlin could not publicly endorse U.S. preemptive action, Moscow
would privately understand the strategic necessity of a preemptive
strike by the United States against North Korea’s nuclear complex.
Iran plans electro-magnetic pulse attack on USA with high-altitude
Iran plans to knock out U.S. with 1 nuclear bombWASHINGTON
Tests missiles for
electro-magnetic pulse weapon that could destroy America's technical
Posted: April 25, 2005
By Joseph Farah
Iran is not only covertly developing nuclear weapons, it is
already testing ballistic missiles specifically designed to destroy America's
technical infrastructure, effectively neutralizing the world's lone superpower,
say U.S. intelligence sources, top scientists and western missile industry
The radical Shiite regime has conducted successful tests to
determine if its Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear
warhead, can be detonated by a remote-control device while still in
Scientists, including President Reagan's top
science adviser, William R. Graham, say there is no other explanation for such
tests than preparation for the deployment of Electromagnetic Pulse weapons –
even one of which could knock out America's critical electrical and
technological infrastructure, effectively sending the continental U.S. back to
the 19th century with a recovery time of months or years.
Iran will have
that capability – at least theoretically – as soon as it has one nuclear bomb
ready to arm such a missile. North Korea, a strategic ally of Iran, already
boasts such capability.
The stunning report was first published over the
weekend in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, the premium, online intelligence
newsletter published by WND's founder.
Just last month, Congress heard
testimony about the use of such weapons and the threat they pose from rogue
Iran has surprised intelligence analysts by describing the
mid-flight detonations of missiles fired from ships on the Caspian Sea as
"successful" tests. Even primitive Scud missiles could be used for this purpose.
And top U.S. intelligence officials reminded members of Congress that there is a
glut of these missiles on the world market. They are currently being bought and
sold for about $100,000 apiece.
"A terrorist organization might have
trouble putting a nuclear warhead 'on target' with a Scud, but it would be much
easier to simply launch and detonate in the atmosphere," wrote Sen. John Kyl,
R-Ariz., in the Washington Post a week ago. "No need for the risk and difficulty
of trying to smuggle a nuclear weapon over the border or hit a particular city.
Just launch a cheap missile from a freighter in international waters – al-Qaida
is believed to own about 80 such vessels – and make sure to get it a few miles
in the air."
The Iranian missile tests were more sophisticated and
capable of detonation at higher elevations – making them more
Detonated at a height of 60 to 500 kilometers above the
continental U.S., one nuclear warhead could cripple the country – knocking out
electrical power and circuit boards and rendering the U.S. domestic
While Iran still insists officially in talks
currently underway with the European Union that it is only developing nuclear
power for peaceful civilian purposes, the mid-flight detonation missile tests
persuade U.S. military planners and intelligence agencies that Tehran can only
be planning such an attack, which depends on the availability of at least one
Some analysts believe the stage of Iranian missile
developments suggests Iranian scientists will move toward the production of
weapons-grade nuclear material shortly as soon as its nuclear reactor in Busher
Jerome Corsi, author of "Atomic Iran," told WorldNetDaily
the new findings about Iran's Electromagnetic Pulse experiments significantly
raise the stakes of the mullah regime's bid to become a nuclear
"Up until now, I believed the nuclear threat to the U.S. from Iran
was limited to the ability of terrorists to penetrate the borders or port
security to deliver a device to a major city," he said. "While that threat
should continue to be a grave concern for every American, these tests by Iran
demonstrate just how devious the fanatical mullahs in Tehran are. We are facing
a clever and unscrupulous adversary in Iran that could bring America to its
Earlier this week, Iran's top nuclear official said Europe must
heed an Iranian proposal on uranium enrichment or risk a collapse of the
The warning by Hassan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National
Security Council, came as diplomats from Britain, France and Germany began talks
with their Iranian counterparts in Geneva, ahead of a more senior-level meeting
in London set for April 29. Enrichment produces fuel for nuclear reactors, which
can also be used in the explosive core of nuclear bombs.
should tell us whether these ideas can work as the basis for continued
negotiations or not," Rowhani said, referring to the Iranian proposal put
forward last month that would allow some uranium enrichment. "If yes, fine. If
not, then the negotiations cannot continue," he said.
believe Iran is using the negotiations merely to buy time for further
development of the nuclear program.
The U.S. plans, according to
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to allow the EU talks to continue before
deciding this summer to push for United Nations sanctions against
Last month, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism,
Technology and Homeland Security chaired by Kyl, held a hearing on the
Electromagnetic Pulse, or EMP, threat.
"An electromagnetic pulse (EMP)
attack on the American homeland, said one of the distinguished scientists who
testified at the hearing, is one of only a few ways that the United States could
be defeated by its enemies – terrorist or otherwise," wrote Kyl "And it is
probably the easiest. A single Scud missile, carrying a single nuclear weapon,
detonated at the appropriate altitude, would interact with the Earth's
atmosphere, producing an electromagnetic pulse radiating down to the surface at
the speed of light. Depending on the location and size of the blast, the effect
would be to knock out already stressed power grids and other electrical systems
across much or even all of the continental United States, for months if not
The purpose of an EMP attack, unlike a nuclear attack on land, is
not to kill people, but "to kill electrons," as Graham explained. He serves as
chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from
Electromagnetic Pulse Attack and was director of the White House Office of
Science and Technology Policy and science adviser to the president during the
Graham told WorldNetDaily he could think of no
other reason for Iran to be experimenting with mid-air detonation of missiles
than for the planning of an EMP-style attack.
"EMP offers a bigger bang
for the buck," he said. He also suggested such an attack makes a U.S. nuclear
response against a suspected enemy less likely than the detonation of a nuclear
bomb in a major U.S. city.
A 2004 report by the commission found "several
potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United
States with a high-altitude nuclear weapons-generated electromagnetic pulse
(EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without
having a high level of sophistication."
"EMP is one of a small number of
threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences," the
report said. "EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to
the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to
critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of U.S. society, as well as
to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and
The major impact of EMP weapons is on electronics, "so
pervasive in all aspects of our society and military, coupled through critical
infrastructures," explained the report.
"Their effects on systems and
infrastructures dependent on electricity and electronics could be sufficiently
ruinous as to qualify as catastrophic to the nation," Lowell Wood, acting
chairman of the commission, told members of Congress.
report went so far as to suggest, in its opening sentence, that an EMP attack
"might result in the defeat of our military forces."
"Briefly, a single
nuclear weapon exploded at high altitude above the United States will interact
with the Earth's atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetic field to produce an
electromagnetic pulse (EMP) radiation down to the Earth and additionally create
electrical currents in the Earth," said the report. "EMP effects are both direct
and indirect. The former are due to electrical systems, and the latter arise
from the damage that 'shocked' – upset, damaged and destroyed – electronics
controls then inflict on the systems in which they are embedded. The indirect
effects can be even more severe than the direct effects."
The EMP threat
is not a new one considered by U.S. defense planners. The Soviet Union had
experimented with the idea as a kind of super-weapon against the
"What is different now is that some potential sources of EMP threats
are difficult to deter – they can be terrorist groups that have no state
identity, have only one or a few weapons and are motivated to attack the U.S.
without regard for their own safety," explains the commission report. "Rogue
states, such as North Korea and Iran, may also be developing the capability to
pose an EMP threat to the United States and may also be unpredictable and
difficult to deter."
Graham describes the potential "cascading effect" of
an EMP attack. If electrical power is knocked out and circuit boards fried,
telecommunications are disrupted, energy deliveries are impeded, the financial
system breaks down, food, water and gasoline become scarce.
As Kyl put
it: "Few if any people would die right away. But the loss of power would have a
cascading effect on all aspects of U.S. society. Communication would be largely
impossible. Lack of refrigeration would leave food rotting in warehouses,
exacerbated by a lack of transportation as those vehicles still working simply
ran out of gas (which is pumped with electricity). The inability to sanitize and
distribute water would quickly threaten public health, not to mention the safety
of anyone in the path of the inevitable fires, which would rage unchecked. And
as we have seen in areas of natural and other disasters, such circumstances
often result in a fairly rapid breakdown of social order."
society has grown so dependent on computer and other electrical systems that we
have created our own Achilles' heel of vulnerability, ironically much greater
than those of other, less developed nations," the senator wrote. "When deprived
of power, we are in many ways helpless, as the New York City blackout made
clear. In that case, power was restored quickly because adjacent areas could
provide help. But a large-scale burnout caused by a broad EMP attack would
create a much more difficult situation. Not only would there be nobody nearby to
help, it could take years to replace destroyed equipment."
said hardening key infrastructure systems and procuring vital backup equipment
such as transformers is both feasible and – compared with the threat –
"But it will take leadership by the Department of
Homeland Security, the Defense Department, and other federal agencies, along
with support from Congress, all of which have yet to materialize," wrote Kyl, so
far the only elected official blowing the whistle this alarming
Kyl concluded in his report: "The Sept. 11 commission report
stated that our biggest failure was one of 'imagination.' No one imagined that
terrorists would do what they did on Sept. 11. Today few Americans can conceive
of the possibility that terrorists could bring our society to its knees by
destroying everything we rely on that runs on electricity. But this time we've
been warned, and we'd better be prepared to respond."