Reuters reports that FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, that the FBI is investigating possible threats to the water supply systems in Wichita, Kansas, and several other Midwestern cities, after learning of the threats and has contacted the water supply facilities and law enforcement offices for the municipalities.
Patton declined to discuss the nature of the threats or the number of cities affected. She said investigators had been sent out in response to the reports, but offered no details. “We were made aware of the threat,” Patton said. “We have not been able to substantiate any of the threats.“
Wichita city officials warned employees in emails to be on guard for suspicious activities. City officials also told residents the water is safe to drink and the public will be notified immediately if this changes.
Wichita Police Lieutenant Doug Nolte said Friday that the city had taken steps to keep the city’s water supply safe, but would not describe what measures had been taken.
Wichita draws much of its water from the Cheney Reservoir about 30 miles west of the city. The city water department has not returned calls regarding security measurements taken.
Vi Nguyen of Wichita’s NBC affiliate KSN.com reports that the potential hazard affects four major water systems in the mid-west including Wichita and El Dorado, which the FBI visited to ensure they were aware of threats that were made.
Federal investigators say they did not find any harmful evidence to support the threat, but declined to comment on the specifics of the threats because it’s an ongoing investigation. “At this point in the investigation we have not be able to substantiate any portion of the threat to area water supply systems,” said Patton.
Watch the KSN news video here.
A KSN.com viewer wrote this comment on the TV station’s website:
Do you see the blatant fear mongering here? Why make it public until something definite is found and people need to do something. This is merely to paralyze you with fear and make you suggestible to anything else they tell you because they know you will believe it. Think about it.
That being said, there is every reason for the authorities to be vigilant about possible threats to America’s infrastructure, including our water supply systems.
U.S. officials have determined that some of the wildfires that burnt in California last year were started by al-Qaeda operatives. (See “Wildfires started by Al-Qaeda as economic warfare against America.”)
It is therefore not at all far-fetched to think that terrorists would also target America’s water-supply. Despite that, there is a woeful disregard for perimeter security in and around critical infrastructure assets around the United States, including water plants.
Last May, 7 Muslims were caught trespassing after midnight at the Quabbin Reservoir that supplies water to Boston, Massachusetts. At the time, we were told that the seven were “chemical engineers” who were on an innocent “field trip” to observe the water storage structure. At midnight!
Then last month came news that the Massachusetts State Police said the trespassing is being investigated as a “criminal matter.”
Mac Slavo of SHTFplan.com reminds us that outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had warned that a widespread cyber attack on our national power grid and other infrastructure is not only guaranteed, but imminent.
In previous comments, Napolitano, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has advised Americans to stockpile at least two (2) weeks of essential supplies, including food and fresh drinking water, citing concerns that emergency responders could be overwhelmed in the event of a widespread emergency.
Failure to prepare for short and long-term disaster could be deadly. Most Americans have about three days worth of food supplies and almost no reserve water supplies or methods for filtering water should the water supply be compromised. As we saw with Hurricane Sandy, any disruptions to the normal flow of supplies or commerce would lead to a breakdown within 72 hours as those affected struggle to acquire limited resources.
Steve has a lot of tips on emergency preparedness and security/survival. Go to FOTM’s “Health, Finance & Security Tips” page. Scroll down to the post links colored orange.
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.