Once upon a time, in a far off galaxy of time, (5 years ago), an ‘e-bomb’ was either a variant of ecstasy in tablet form or an email bomb, a form of net abuse. It was the sending of massive quantities of emails to an address to jam the mailbox or overwhelm the server in a denial of service attack.
More recently, the term has grown in scale. Now it is literally an explosive device, in effect, that could explode in earth’s upper atmosphere and knock out all, and that means ALL, electronic communication and power. It does not affect or harm people or buildings directly, it is not that sort of explosive.
However, one could damage pacemakers in certain conditions. People near metal objects or those directly hit by microwave beams would suffer various degrees of burning. So it is not fully a ‘clean weapon’.
Just One Nano-Second Pulse
A devastating and hyper-brief electromagnetic pulse (EMP) could be released from a cruise missile launched into space that could totally paralyse Britain’s entire infrastructure. Phones, TV, power grids, water, satellites, lights, energy, computers, electronic and time-locked buildings, cars, factories, airports, hospitals and military installations. All rendered redundant in the face of a major pulse overhead.
A February 2012 report from the House of Commons Defence Select Committee warned that weapons detonated 500 miles above earth could provide enough electromagnetic pulse to wreak havoc almost unimaginable. In the USA, White House adviser Avi Schnurr shares the concern, but adds that natural e-threats could be just as disastrous.
In fact, it could be any country in any continent effectively shut down, and it could be caused by a ‘rogue state’ or terrorists. Some experts believe that such capability may already be in their hands.
British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond told a conference in May that money is urgently needed on defences that ‘cannot be seen on the parade ground.’ We are not talking about ‘infantry, jet planes or destroyers’, but an entirely different defence shield that is secret, covert and more ruthlessly effective than the menace is.
Scale of the Power
Almost a decade ago, Fox News published an account of what an e-bomb is. They said such devices can ‘unleash in a flash as much electrical power – 2 billion watts or more – as the Hoover Dam generates in 24 hours.’
It was in 1925 that e-bomb theory was first proposed by Arthur H.Compton, a physicist studying atoms. While he was working on nuclear research he created a new weapon. In 1958, the first experiment was run igniting hydrogen bombs over the Pacific Ocean that caused bursts of gamma rays that struck atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen and released electrons over hundreds of miles.
It was reported that in Hawaii street lights were blown out and in Australia radio navigation was disrupted for 18 hours. This led to development of methods of hardening electronics against this kind of threat and to create a new range of weaponry. Talk of e-bombs today merely covers a huge variety of different permutations designed to burn out, damage, disrupt communication generally.
And that means for whatever purpose, criminal or law abiding, fiscal or power-mongering. Over the past few years there have been regular ‘doomsday conferences’, some national but most international, to try to formulate a coherent plan to counter the array of threats.
Secrecy or Conspiracy?
Many of the conclusions remain top secret. So most of us just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best from the boffs and lab wonks. After all, how would we manage if the armageddon scenario comes to pass: with our vulnerable emails devices, the web delivery systems and iPhones fried to toast? Not to mention our domestic microwaves, electric cookers, fridges, heating and cars.
Of course, as usual in anything that provokes lively debate, there is another side. Writing on the ResistRadio blog (14 May 2012), Brit Dee condemned it all as ‘Latest Neocon Terror Propaganda’. Dee said the e-bomb is part of an ‘ever-growing and increasingly absurd list of supposed terror threats.’
That there is no evidence to support implausible assertions that danger is imminent because the technology is available to undesirables, confirms for Dee and others that it is being hyped up as ‘Western Neocon-Zionist propaganda’.
The blog confirmed that the particular conference was hosted by the US-based Electric Infrastructure and Security Council (EIS) and the Henry Jackson Society, a British think-tank. Dee said membership was imperial, with an agenda of ‘bombing and takeover of foreign countries, in the name of peace, to secure geopolitical objectives.’
Whichever viewpoint is correct, the fact is that billions of pounds and dollars will be poured into more research in defending the world against e-bombs and making better e-bombs for use against others.
Image: Hansueli Krapf